Student journalists join Milestone staff for 2021-2022 school year

Five students have joined the journalism staff for the 2021-2022 school year.

Freshmen Kennedy Kramer, Jack Sampson, and Ava Wille, and junior Charlie Louis join returning staff member sophomore Amanda Braig to complete the McNicholas Milestone staff for 2021-2022.

In a series of Milestone interviews, the students spoke about their experiences and plans for the year in journalism.

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your hobbies?

Kramer: “I’ve been dancing since I was two. I’m a cheerleader, and I used to play volleyball when I was younger.”

Wille: “I like to play golf and basketball, I played volleyball in my past, and I like to read a lot.”

Louis: “I like reading a lot. I also like to play games and hang out with my friends.”

Braig: “I’m a theatre student, so I did a lot of backstage work in my freshman year, and I hope to have some roles onstage in the future. I also love basketball, cross country, and track. In my spare time, I do a lot of reading and writing.”

Why did you decide to take journalism?

Kramer: “I decided to join journalism because I enjoy writing, and journalism will give me a chance to write in more of a creative way.”

Wille: “I like to read and write, and I thought that this will help me out with all my writing… I’m looking forward to writing about homecoming… and about ADHD and mental health.”

Louis: “I wanted to gain more experience with writing in general.”

Braig: “Last year, I wanted to take a creative writing course, but the class didn’t have enough space for me to join. I took journalism instead, and I absolutely loved it! I knew I wanted to take it again this year because it helped me to improve my writing skills while also giving me a lot of creative freedom.”

What’s one thing that you’ve learned this year in journalism?

Kramer: “I’ve liked learning about the different styles [of journalistic writing] because I thought that journalism was just facts, but there’s a lot more to it than that.”

Wille: “I’ve never been able to quote correctly, it’s always been weird, but now I’ve finally learned how to do it properly.”

Louis: “Journalistic writing is a lot different than writing an essay.”

Braig: “I had to relearn a lot of the rules of journalistic writing this year, such as avoiding present tense in a news story.”

What did you expect to be doing in journalism when you first joined?

Kramer: “I never knew there was a Milestone that existed before journalism, so I just thought we would be writing journalistic stories and turning them in. I didn’t expect to be posting anything.”

Wille: “I didn’t expect to have as many interviews as I thought I would get before. I thought I would just have to get one person and then be done, but I’ve had like three.”

Louis: “I expected to be writing stories more frequently than what we’ve been doing, but we’ll probably start writing more soon.”

Braig: “I knew what to expect this year, but last year I thought we would only be learning about journalistic writing; I didn’t think we would be writing our own stories, and I was especially surprised to hear that we published them for the school.”

What are some of the struggles you’ve faced so far in this class?

Kramer: “Since I’ve never written a news story before, I think the hardest part was just writing it in general and figuring out what is actually news and what isn’t.”

Wille: “Sometimes I’ll struggle with coming up with questions, and then I’ll forget to ask certain questions during the interview and have to wait to ask them at different times.”

Louis: “It’s hard getting arrangements to talk with people… teachers are busy and they can’t always respond to you.”

Braig: “Deadlines have always been the biggest issue for me. I’m a huge procrastinator and have gotten into a bad habit of putting off my stories until a few days before they’re due to be published. Then I have to scramble to gather my interviews and write the article, so the end result is usually a little sloppier than it could be.”

Journalism students used time in class to brainstorm article ideas and wrote them up on the ideas board under four categories; news, features, editorials, and other. In the future, the staff hopes to again update the McNicholas Milestone’s Twitter account.

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