Near the end of the cherubs program, students begin planning their next moves as staff and editors for their high school publications.
Camila Trimberger of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, participates in all journalism branches in her high school, including yearbook and broadcasting. She said she restructured her “whole way of thinking” at the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute.
“You come to cherubs thinking you are a pretty decent journalist,” Trimberger said. “Now, I can’t even read the newspaper articles I released last month.”
Cherubs in the Newspaper Critique workshop had their publications reviewed by instructor John Kupetz.
Ben Fagell, editor-in-chief of his school newspaper in Bethesda, Maryland, said the workshop showed him the weaker and stronger parts of his publication and made him more critical of its organization.
“The workshop gave me a clear path as to what should be fixed,” Fagell said.
Alex Feng, who works for his school magazine in Palo Alto, California, plans on using what he learned to develop professional habits in his newsroom.
“I want to instill a higher standard of professionalism in the staffers for next year,” Feng said.
Gabrielle Khoriaty aims to improve the broadcasting at her school by helping others improve their writing skills.
“Even in broadcast you need to be able to write your voiceovers and your copy to convey your ideas to your audience,” said Khoriaty of Boca Raton, Florida.
Cherubs learned that a big part of journalism is knowing your audience.
Isabel Funk, managing editor of her school newspaper, said she learned “everything is aimed toward your audience.” When she gets home to Mercer Island, Washington, Funk said she and her staff will write more student profiles and cover more school events to reach their audience.
Feng learned from instructor Mary Lou Song that having a sense of community in a team means every staffer is willing to make sacrifices for the group.
“You want staffers that would be willing to walk on fire for you,” he said. “If the sense of community improves, the quality of the journalism also improves.”