#SJW2021: Journalism aiding students in becoming more involved in community


Lilly Gorman

Coppell High School seniors Mark Suante and Hailey Wilkins go over some graphic designs in the KCBY-TV Studio on Dec. 7. Journalism is allowing students to become increasingly involved in the community. Photo by Lilly Gorman

Victoria Hertel, Student Life Editor

Students inside of a Coppell High School classroom type relentlessly on their keyboards, writing and editing after conducting interviews with members of the Coppell community.

This week is Scholastic Journalism Week, which celebrates journalism in schools nationwide. Journalism students in The Sidekick, KCBY-TV and Round-Up yearbook said they have learned more about the community and teamwork through journalism.

“Journalism is about connecting with your community,” KCBY-TV senior program director Natalie Adams said. “When you look at your community through the eyes of a journalist, you see everything. You see the highs, the lows [and] you see people’s struggles. You get to speak to the most incredible and unique people for the sake of telling a story and sharing their lives with others.”

Adams joined the KCBY-TV program after creating home videos throughout her childhood. At Coppell Middle School Wast, she took multimedia for two years.

“I’ve been into videography since I was a little kid and it was the path that I decided to take,” Adams said. “There’s a lot of power being able to show something by video, to not only tell a story but to show a story.”

After joining Round-Up, CHS senior and managing editor for the people and sports section Riley Shultz became increasingly involved in the Coppell community. Before joining, she would not attend as many games or events as she does now that she is involved in journalism. 

“Being a part of the media automatically is getting me involved in school, going to events,” Shultz said. “If I wasn’t in [yearbook] I wouldn’t have done a lot of things that I’ve done like attending games or certain events that I didn’t even know about [before].”

Junior co-sports editor Meer Mahfuz joined The Sidekick after his brother, CHS senior Muhtasim Mahfuz recommended it to him.

“I chose to take Sidekick because my brother was friends with [leadership team members]. I was like ‘I might as well try this out.’,” Mahfuz said. “I took it last year and I actually really enjoyed being a sports reporter, so I continued to stay in the program. I love going out to games and talking to athletes after a win or a loss, especially after a win [when] everybody is excited and cheering.”

One of the aspects that Shultz enjoys about Round-Up is that she bettered her journalistic skills from being a first year staff member to a third year leader. She learned about teamwork through Round-Up.

“I started from the bottom, had to listen to my superiors and learn from them,” Shultz said. “As I’m at the top I’m learning about teamwork and making sure that everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to: being honest about what they’ve done and making sure to keep up with deadlines. [Round-Up] forces you to do things that you’d never thought you’d like; it pushes you out of your comfort zone into new things. You learn more about yourself as well.”

Mahfuz also enjoys the teamwork aspects of The Sidekick and has formed friendships with the other members of the program.

“What bonds me to the other members of The Sidekick is that we all have the same motive,” Mahfuz said. “We’re all trying to push out the best content and be as updated as possible. Knowing that other people are trying to do the same thing as you makes it a lot easier to work with other people. I enjoy being around the other members, they’re all very open and honest people to talk to.”

Lastly, Shultz encourages CHS students to get involved in journalism classes. Round-Up helped her become more engaged in the community.

“If you’re not in journalism you should be because it’s really fun to get involved,” Shultz said.

Follow Victoria (@veh37936) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.