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Opinion

A product of HCHS journalism

SoVaNow.com / May 12, 2009
Dear Editor,

I know I am not supposed to believe everything I hear, but I cannot help but be concerned when I keep hearing whispers about the journalism department at the high school.

You see, I am a product of the HCHS journalism department, or rather, I am a graduate of the Richard Fitz School of Journalism at HCHS, class of 1972.

There I learned that everything my parents had already taught me was true. Values like honesty, truthfulness, fairness, and responsibility were reinforced in those classes.

The lessons I learned working on the school newspaper, The Star, and the yearbook, The Haliscope, were life lessons and practical lessons that have served me well.

I went on to work at The Gazette-Virginian, The Gretna Gazette and The News and Record.

I've sold advertising, designed ads, composed pages, written news stories and human interest stories, wedding stories and obituaries. I've helped put advertising inserts in the papers, filled newsstand racks, worked on mailing lists, written headlines and captions. I've covered town council meetings, court sessions, and basketball games.

I've even been a photographer when I had to be.

The lessons I learned in high school journalism classes turned out to be the bedrock for my adult career.

It is why I still cannot abide misspelled words, headlines that don't match the story, captions that don't match the photo, news stories that miss the most important points, sloppy reporting and disrespect for readers.

High school journalism taught me the importance of time management, deadlines, honest answers and respectful questions.

I implore the school board members to take as much pride in the awards won by their journalism students as they do in the trophies won by the sports teams.

The HCHS journalism department is now being led by someone who loves the art of journalism, who understands the integrity of the written word.

I beg you to please keep the journalism department intact and at the high school, where it belongs.

Sincerely,

Bunny Propst

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