U-High's journalism students won't let a little social distance keep them from telling Lab's stories

U-High's journalism students won't let a little social distance keep them from telling Lab's stories

Lab's award-winning student journalists have gone above and beyond in 2020, surmounting the obstacles of remote learning and showing the adults how it's done.

This Spring, as Lab transitioned to remote learning, High School journalism teacher Jayna Rumble worked with her students to complete the U-Highlights yearbook from a distance. She explained, "Our yearbook program was heading into our final deadlines and feeling great about how the yearbook was taking shape. In March, editors re-worked our page ladder to include coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We added a 12-page section on the school closure. Our editors were really committed to making sure that we told the story of the school year. A 2020 yearbook without a mention of the school closure would have been unacceptable. I was so proud of them for buckling down and telling so many real stories about last spring."

Another challenge came with the need to create photos and media to accompany the stories in both the yearbook and the Midway. "The photojournalists continued to take photos from home," said Rumble. "Sometimes they took 'still life' photos to represent an event or story and other times they were able to take photos via Zoom. They took photos of events that were happening around them like Black Lives Matter demonstrations and protests. We even had a photo editor who came to campus to take portraits of Lab retirees. All of our journalism students showed so much grit last year. They've carried that into this school year, and it's been so rewarding to watch."

When asked about the challenges of finding and reporting remotely, Rumble admitted it had been more difficult this year. "It's usually easier for students to find sources for stories and to think about stories they want to cover in school. In a normal year, they would observe what students are talking about and doing in the building. The remote setting requires students to think differently about the issues that their peers are facing. Communicating with students takes a bit more work right now too. When they usually would have just walked down the hall to find a source, they now have to get creative with contacting them and reaching out for interviews. This is such a tough time for students to connect with their peers socially. Journalism classes offer students an excuse to reach out to others to connect and talk. And for our readers, our publications provide a way to stay connected and engaged with issues that students are facing. Our journalism team is more committed than ever to providing accurate information and stories about this year."

While U-High is remote, the U-High Midway will continue to publish stories frequently on its website: uhighmidway.com. New this year is the option to subscribe to the Midway and receive stories directly to your inbox.