The news is pretty depressing. "If it bleeds, it leads," my Medill journalism school professors used to say--almost daily. I've managed to stay far, far, away from the crime beats in the newsroom, but that doesn't change the fact that life (at least, according to newspaper headlines), sucks most of the time. Today's headlines are proof of that.
That's why I love Jesus. And journalism. Even though life sucks, we're allowed to ask questions about it, and I have hope someday we won't have to suffer anymore. So do all of the students enrolled in Wheaton College's COMM 215: Journalism class, where I'm standing today with Professor Tim Morgan (senior editor of global journalism at Christianity Today and Wheaton's journalism certificate program director) and a class of 15 Wheaton College students from all over the world who are all passionate about asking tough questions and being lights in a world of darkness.
These 15 aspiring journalists are passionate about topics ranging from running to music to holiness to finance to football. Today's assignment was to choose a relevant/timely/newsworthy article they're interested in / passionate about - and to write a blog post about it in 60 minutes flat. Here are their stories, ideas, and opinions that came from our "power hour" - check out what these 15 Millennial college students are concerned about today:
@sarahkaczka: "Striving for the Unattainable"
@sarah_britton_m: "Sex, Social Networks, and the Female Soul"
@Lyssemarie: "Is Your Computer Selling You For Sex?"
@tylercharlz: "Could Twitter Be the Path to Immortality?"
@kimjoannekim: "#6 Coffee Addiction Advocate"
@Pull_JEE_nee: "A Silent Scream for Help"
@samuelc_smith: "The Breaking Bad Finale and Where We Go From Here"
@sydney_brynn: "Running Away From Your Problems"
@abby_dorman: "The Fleeting Elite"
@oskarcadena_24: "MLB's Game 163: Do or Die."
@annanmorris: "Rand Paul on the Rise?"
@bondroth: "Government Blackout"
@incrediblyalex: "Idolizing French Lifestyle"
anna krcek: "Yesterday's TomorrowWorld"
I graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois in 2011 with a degree in Communication (Media Studies). What I always wanted to do was be a journalist, passionate about the integration of faith, news, and culture--but Wheaton didn't have a journalism program when I was a student. I'll never forget sitting in the dean of communication's office my freshman year, asking him if Wheaton was going to start a journalism program anytime soon. "We're working out a partnership with Christianity Today..." he said, "But that won't be solidified for a couple of years..."
So I completed most all of Wheaton's journalistic courses, graduated with a B.A. in Comm, and went on to complete a masters of science in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2012. Fast forward five years from my conversation in the dean of communication's office, and I'm now on staff as an editor with Christianity Today. I'm also on staff at Wheaton, as the journalism certificate program assistant, helping out in the classroom and helping students land their "dream jobs" through internships and networking.
This semester, several of Wheaton's former journalism certificate students are now in full- or part- time journalism jobs or internships, including placement at the Burlington Free Press and WBEZ radio in Chicago. Tens more are involved with the program on campus, through classes like "internet journalism" (we launched our own website, Millennial Influx, last spring), involvement with the Wheaton Record, and personal blogs and websites.
All of these students are eager to dig into journalism now - and I'm happy to encourage them in the effort.
We even started our own hashtag! Follow us on Twitter: #wcj
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