By Hannah ’25
Harvard-Westlake has a diverse range of courses in many different subjects, especially journalism and publications. When I first came to Harvard-Westlake, I knew that I wanted to be involved in journalism. I first became involved in journalism when I wrote for my school newspaper in elementary school, but over the past few months of writing for the HW middle school newsmagazine, I have developed a deeper and more profound interest in journalism.
HW offers many opportunities for students to be involved in publications at both the middle and upper school. At the middle school, students can take various publications courses such as yearbook journalism and newsmagazine journalism. Before taking one of these courses, all students must take an introduction to journalism class called Media for the Modern age where students learn the fundamentals of writing, design, and production. In yearbook journalism at the middle school, students work to produce the middle school sections of the school yearbook. Students in this class write stories, conduct research, and photograph school events and activities. In newsmagazine journalism, students work to produce the middle school newsmagazine, Spectrum. In Spectrum, we get to write articles, conduct interviews, and work on layout and design.
Writing for Spectrum this year has been a tremendously different experience from writing on an elementary school newspaper or taking classes in journalism. In this class, we write about many different topics from news to opinion, we publish many of our articles on our website, and we work on creative layout, but what has made this course different than others I have taken is that it is student-run, meaning that students are the ones who are working on layout and ultimately producing our issues. What I love about Spectrum is that there are so many different ways you can contribute, whether it’s writing articles, editing, or designing our print issues or all even three!
Newsmagazine and Yearbook journalism are only available for eighth and ninth graders, however, seventh grade students can still become involved in publications at the middle school through the middle school literary magazine. The Tenth Muse is open to 7th-9th graders who want to contribute to the magazine. Instead of meeting as a class, they meet as a club (only once a week), which opens up the publication to more students.
When I was in seventh and eighth grade I worked on the Tenth Muse and it was an absolute blast! The great thing about the Tenth Muse is that you don’t even need to go to all of the meetings and layout sessions to be featured in the magazine. Students can submit photography, illustrations, poetry, short stories and more to be featured in the magazine.
Through all of these different opportunities, I’ve been able to pursue journalism for all three years I’ve spent at the middle school, and I am beyond excited to continue being involved in publications at the upper school in the years to come!