Students from Grant High School are proving it’s never too early to practice good journalism. Recently, five student editors from Grant Magazine, the school’s student-run publication, visited the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) to learn more about their craft and exchange ideas with SOJC students and faculty. This visit provided the students with a real-life glimpse into journalism education at the college level and allowed them to showcase the incredible work they are doing at Grant Magazine.

Accompanied by their advisor, David Austin, the students had a busy few days on campus. They met with SOJC’s Flux magazine and Allen Hall Studios and sat in on a range of SOJC classes, including Reporting I and Introduction to Photography. The high school students also had the unique opportunity to meet with Claudio Sanchez, an education correspondent for NPR, and hear his talk about the state of education in our country and the journalism industry’s role.

The students learned a lot about the practice of journalism and about life as a student at the SOJC. But perhaps even more valuable was the constructive, two-way dialogue about important issues in the industry they had with other journalists.

“The best part has just been meeting with the students, walking around campus and talking with other people who are passionate about journalism,” said student editor Lael Tate. “We don’t really get to have these conversations with other likeminded people at our high school that often, so it’s been really cool. There are so many connections we can build on.”

Although all of the visiting students are considering a career in journalism, coming to the SOJC helped to paint a better picture of what that path might look like for them. “I realized that there are a lot of opportunities here that I wasn’t aware of,” said student editor Sawyer Montgomery. “Seeing the different programs and being able to sit in on classes definitely changed my perspective of the school.”

Grant Magazine is definitely not your typical high school publication. SOJC faculty and students alike were impressed by the high quality of journalism within its pages. The students not only publish school news and profile pieces, but also report on important, hard-hitting topics that are relevant to the school and local community. The latest issue features a special report about the “N” word and the issues surrounding the use of derogatory and racist language at Grant High School and in the greater Portland area.

Partnerships with Oregon high schools are crucial for upholding the high quality of journalism at the SOJC and for ensuring that young, aspiring journalists have the resources and opportunities to pursue their area of interest. “It’s cool that the university recognizes Grant Magazine and was willing to have students come to campus. Anytime we can network and make a connection with people of the same interests, its great,” said Austin. “At the end of the day, it’s about what we put in the hands of young people and allowing them to soar and take off.”

Story by Nicole Rideout ‘16