Creating conversation: Waynflete introduces Digital Journalism program

Last fall, Waynflete offered a Digital Journalism course taught by local podcast producer and journalist Emma Reynolds. During the semester, students produced podcasts and wrote articles about stories in the Waynflete community. They learned how to conduct interviews, record audio, and edit. At the end of the semester, the students created a website that features all of their work. 

Upper School Director Asra Ahmed had two objectives in mind when she created this course: 

  • To begin the process of creating a dedicated journalism program at Waynflete
  • To provide an additional educational experience that is interdisciplinary, intellectually rigorous, fun, and driven by the students who choose to participate in it

I know from past experience that student-run journalism is an important way for students to take ownership of their school community, to help them reflect on their school experience, and to take responsibility for supporting the school in its constant evolution. Journalism programs also provide students with significant life and educational skills, like writing, research, interviewing, and interpersonal skills. They have to learn about history, politics, the constitution—for example, what is “freedom of speech”?—and they have to incorporate that knowledge into their journalistic works.”

Journalism programs help students see that leadership skills manifest in a variety of ways, including being a journalistic voice for one’s community. Asra points out that these programs push students to see their whole community instead of just the segment of it that they are drawn or attached to.

“The digital aspect of it is something I chose to focus on because it is aligned with where journalism is currently,” says Asra. “Students still crafted written pieces, but they also learn about podcasting as another means of sharing news and culture with their community and see how it can provoke conversations about topics that could be overlooked.”

Check out the links below for more from our Digital Journal program: 

Digital Journalism website

Digital Journalism podcasts

Waynflete’s SoundCloud page (displays each class’s podcasts separately)

And listen to these podcasts from Waynflete classes that Emma Reynolds taught as a guest:

Anya Parauda’s “Native American History” book review podcasts

Jim Millard’s “What’s Up With That?: Journalism in The Digital Age”

Lindsay Clarke’s “Native American History” book review podcasts

207.774.5721 | 360 Spring Street, Portland, Maine | Directions | My Waynflete