The Value of News


“Reading the News” an illustration in charcoal by Emily Bullock 2019.

Ka Leo Staff, Student Life

Among the variety of electives provided at Kalani High School and available to all students, News Writing is a class for those who want to improve both their writing and social skills. It teaches the basics of journalism.

“It’s helped me grow more comfortable to talk to people and how to manage my time,” News Writing student Shea Brown (9) says.

As News Writing 1 is an introductory class to the four levels of News Writing offered at Kalani, Nasser teaches eager students the basics of journalism from ethics and morals to interviewing skills to the distribution of information. 

“You learn about different types of articles and basic knowledge of interviewing,” News Writing student Eleni Cheng (9) says. 

Because the class is based around interviewing subjects for articles and developing writing skills, the class is both “independent driven” and “social-driven” for students, which can prove to be difficult. 

 “Challenging,” Emily Velasco (10) says to describe the class in one word. “You have to step outside your comfort zone a lot to do interviewing or be interviewed.”

The social aspect of News Writing also makes it an “enjoyable” environment for students according to News Writing student Leilani Phan (9). 

“(It’s an) interactive environment where you can share your ideas and socialize with you classmates and teacher,” Cheng says.

Many students believe that interviewing is the most difficult part of the class, but the actual writing process for articles is also a challenge due to the teachers’ standards. An integral aspect of journalism is refraining from inserting bias into the writing, which can lead to weak articles and mistrust between the readers and the writer.  

“I think this class is meticulous,” Isa Taylor (11) says. “I think the teacher is nitpicky and I think to pass, you have to be aware of what you’re writing, not just with correcting punctuation and grammar mistakes, but also with the quotes that you put in the article from your interviews. You need to be very cautious about how you phrase the context around those quotes so that your words aren’t misinterpreted, so your opinion isn’t in the article.”

 Of course, with the emphasis on grammatical proficiency and the contextualization of dialogue and opinions, News Writing is quite enticing to those who may not be interested in journalism, but creative writing instead. 

“I choose news writing because I like writing,” Velasco said. “I want to be an author, and I thought taking news writing was a way to get there.”

With so many ideas and skills packed into one class under “journalism,” many students think that this class is good for many students for academic and future career growth.

“Being aware of several tricks used in news writing may help me obtain more accurate resources and being able to write is just a good skill in general,” Haruto Gannon (9) says. 

All of the time and effort is worth it and can be rewarding. 

“I feel like it increased my workflow but also increased my confidence,” Brown explains.  “You need to be willing to go out of your comfort zone, but once you do it’s very helpful.”