Posted on: April 29, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0
Take a Journalism class

By Nathaly Duenas

JRN-111 & COM-151 Student

Writing and shedding light on current events has always been my forte. If you can relate, you are in the right place. 

As an aspiring journalist, I have learned many skills here at Moraine Valley. I was blessed to have enrolled in Journalism 101, Journalism 111, and COM 151-Student Publications, which are all taught by Professor Lisa Couch. 

Nathaly Duenas

These courses have changed my life. They have amplified my skills and broadened my perspective on what media writing involves. I covered events on campus, learned how to produce and capture newsworthy content, and wrote stories for Moraine Valley’s student newspaper The Glacier, run by adviser Jan Kopischke.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we found ourselves in the middle of a new reality. News was everywhere and as journalists, we had to quickly adjust. Our main focus was conducting interviews off campus and rushing to get stories done about how this pandemic is affecting Moraine Valley. 

We all worked vigorously to launch the online version of The Glacier during the pandemic. I was only familiar with the print edition of the student paper. Until I learned so much more on the online version.

I was ultimately put to the test to think and act like a real journalist. 

Acquire knowledge in newspaper layout

Student Publications is a repeatable one-credit-hour course that meets once a week. This course gave me the opportunity to work hands-on for The Glacier as a section editor intern. 

I worked side by side with Professor Couch, Jan Kopischke and my peers. I was granted control of how I wanted my stories to look prior to publication, and I envisioned my own layout and brought it to life. 

We all had a voice and played an active role in the publication process. I not only enhanced my skills in editing stories and producing newspaper layouts, but I also brainstormed ideas to produce fun content such as an entire spread on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

In this course, I was on the other side of the writing instruction I received in my journalism classes. Taking these courses simultaneously solidified my knowledge, and I learned what a real newspaper entails and what is actually news. We had to be up to date with current events but mindful that The Glacier is a student newspaper, so I had to put myself in the shoes of students and staff and envision what they would want to see on the front page. 

Amplify your media writing skills

In JRN-111, News Writing (which will be called Media Writing in the fall) we were given the chance to produce newsworthy content for The Glacier. We were thrown into the journalism world by covering campus events and profiling students or staff.

We were given exercises that required us to get out of our comfort zones, such as conducting “man on the street” interviews around campus. That was a memorable experience because we had to think, act, ask questions, take notes, and be back in the classroom before a tight deadline. 

We attended campus events as a class and interviewed our own classmates to improve our interviewing and observation skills. We were taught a skill set that allowed us to succeed as journalists in and outside of the classroom.

I was learning something new each day: how to write attention-catching leads, the history of media, the ethics of journalism, and much more. We were even given the opportunity to interview a professional journalist, which broadened our perspective of the journalism world. 

For me, JRN 101-Intro to Mass Communications was the stepping stone to News Writing. I was introduced to the basics of journalism through group work and critical thinking. Intro to Mass Communications encouraged me to enroll in News Writing. 

I put to use everything I learned in the content I produced, and these courses always offered a positive, uplifting environment. There was always something to learn and improve. The help was always there when needed. I genuinely felt myself becoming a stronger writer.

Professor Couch guides her students to success. Couch knows how the journalism world works, and she passes her wisdom and journalistic skills onto her students. Couch encourages them to thrive and produce the best content possible. 

I will be graduating from Moraine Valley this spring of 2020. The pandemic will leave me and other graduating students a virtual graduation to remember. 

I plan to take what I have learned and continue progressing as I transfer to the journalism program at Saint Xavier University in the fall of 2020.

If it weren’t for Moraine Valley, The Glacier, or Professor Couch I would not have gained so much knowledge as a student journalist. 

I highly encourage anyone considering a journalism or communications major to register for these classes. They will bring a new light into your life, and will grant you incredible skills that will pay off in the future.

Nathaly Duenas can be reached at