LHS Journalism Students Thrive As They Report Through Pandemic


The pandemic has affected multiple facets of life as we know it, and one of the biggest things that has changed due to COVID is school. Before the virus took over the world, school was fairly laid back and relatively easy to some. However, many students now find school to be either very tough, or very easy, and for the Patriot Press News Team staff, that dynamic is no different.

 They have been working hard and consistently to bring articles to the website. Journalism teacher Ms. Lisa Beth Miller has been trying her best to teach and help students understand the concepts of journalism.

Teaching journalism virtually is challenging, but 100% doable! A lot of what I do is explaining journalistic techniques, but also providing examples of good journalism,” she said.

Her knowledge of journalism and headstrong nature has kept her classroom running relatively smoothly, and due to the nature of journalism in the first place, it still runs almost autonomously aside from scheduled meetings every day. This does not mean, however, that the workload has decreased for Ms. Miller. 

“Has my workload increased? Definitely. A lot of my classes are mixed, meaning I have different subjects (yearbook, journalism, academic coaching, SOL Prep) and levels (Journalism 1-6, Yearbook 1-6) at the same time. Multiply that workload by 2, because now I am teaching all of those students, but some are in person and others are virtual. I am not going to lie, I love my job, but this is absolutely exhausting some days.” she continued.

The editors don’t have it super easy either. There are, of course, certain things that have been made easier with virtual schooling, but many things have become more complex as well.

My job as an editor has been a lot less hands-on since the introduction of virtual learning. The nature of the work itself is technically a lot easier, as my job mainly entails making sure people are on track and making sure articles are up to snuff before publishing. What’s been difficult sometimes, though, is handling situations when someone doesn’t exactly know what they’re doing. It’s really hard to get someone who isn’t writing an article properly, or straight up not writing anything, to do their work correctly. Since we aren’t in a room together, it makes it incredibly difficult to guide these people and get them on track for publishing. But things have been working smoothly otherwise,” said Managing Editor Braeden Meadows.

With virtual learning, the editors have certain challenges, but they still manage to output quality articles along with the rest of their staff team. Again, however, not being in school presents many challenges like the aforementioned difficulty of teaching and guiding new journalists through the process of creating, editing, and publishing of articles. There are other difficulties, such as not being able to fully coordinate with the rest of the team and not being able to physically help and show people what to do and how. 

“With this being my first time taking on the position of Editor-in-Chief, it is hard to compare. However, one of the biggest changes for me is not holding a meeting with the whole entire journalism crew. Due to the AA/BB days, I feel like I have no idea who the other staff reporters are on the opposing days from mine. In my eyes, this really sucks. I like to make connections, friendships, and personally know the strong suits of all the staff reporters,” said Editor-in-Chief Keely Crane.

Virtual learning has also affected many staff members. Mostly in a positive way, as some enjoy the absence of the myriad of distractions that come with a physical class, while others like the flexible time management.

I have 100% enjoyed writing articles on my own time. When I’m writing, it feels like I have way more freedom than if I wrote it in class. I can take big breaks and still get it done, I can listen to music as loud as I want and it wouldn’t disturb other people. I can also talk to my friends via text, FaceTime, or voice call,” said Assistant Editor Dallas Alphonso.

The calmness and serenity of sitting in one’s room getting work done really appeals to many, as it allows them to let down their guard and they can mostly work without any distractions. This is another large benefit of virtual schooling.

“Yeah, I’d say I really enjoy writing articles without the distractions of a full class for sure. It’s way different from what I am used to, but being virtual instead of being in a class has grown on me,” said Staff Reporter Leann Chloros.

The pandemic has also made talking to people easier, as you don’t have to necessarily be face to face. Many staff members have used social media to get in touch with people for quotes and comments on their respective article topics.

I find it easier to ask people the questions over text because they have some time to think about their responses and make them good instead of rushed answers. There has been no stress added to the class other than reaching out to people,” said Staff Reporter Arianah Borja.

The Patriot Press News Team Staff has had its fair share of both difficulties and advantages with the pandemic situation, and they are working very hard to bring readers the quality articles they are accustomed to. The shift over to a digital format has also saved the journalism class as a whole, as they no longer have to physically print the papers and distribute them. All in all, the journalism students have been doing very well with virtual schooling, and they are as passionate as ever to produce articles for everyone to enjoy.