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Hey high school students, want to be a journalist?

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: October 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm •  Published: October 17, 2013

It should have been a lot easier for me to figure out that I wanted to be a journalist.

In eighth grade, I served as the editor-in-chief of my rural grade school’s student newspaper. At 16, I walked into the McAlester News-Capital office and asked if I could intern there.

“Well, we don’t really have an internship program, but … you seem nice,” was essentially the response. A few reporters and editors at the News-Capital mentored me and helped me understand the fundamentals of journalism.

I graduated from high school and headed to OSU to pursue a journalism degree. Cut to present day where I am now a reporter at The Oklahoman.

At the Oklahoman, we have a great opportunity for students who think they might want to pursue journalism.

Newsroom 101 is our high school journalism program. Starting in January, my Saturday mornings will be spent with a group of eager teenagers who want to learn more about journalism.

Do you know someone who belongs in the program?

In past years, some students have driven more than two hours to be here. Others attend schools in and around the Oklahoma City metro.

I grew up in a town of 300 people, and I didn’t realize programs like Newsroom 101 existed. And I bet there are some students outside the Oklahoma City metro who are in the same boat.

If you know of an ambitious student who might be a good fit for our program, let me know. You can download the application here.

Students don’t have to live in the Oklahoma City metro to be a part of Newsroom 101. We take students who are eager to learn and ready to work. Our students write stories that are published in Hot Ink, Newsroom 101′s yearly publication. And some of their stories are published in a Sunday edition of The Oklahoman. Not a bad gig for a high school student, eh?

In last year’s edition of Hot Ink, our students brought us some incredible and fascinating stories. For example, Sana Mesiya, a student at Mercy School Institute, wrote a story about Asma, a 16-year-old girl whose family escaped the civil war in Syria. The girl told Sana that her cousin’s husband was still missing. “Until now, we don’t know where he is,” she said. “We don’t know if he’s alive or dead, and he’s been gone since August.”

Last year, our students wrote stories about a range of topics, including mental health, the health of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Thunder, teen pregnancy, sex education and head injuries in sports. Along the way, journalists at The Oklahoman coach the students. We spend 11 weeks teaching them the principles of journalism and how the stories we write can affect change and better the lives of Oklahomans.

It’s a great opportunity, and I hope you will help me shout it to the rooftops to ensure that we get the best and brightest through our doors.


by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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