No. 5: 911

April 16, 2017

A list of the top 10 memorable issues of student publications during my teaching career.

My second proudest moment as a teacher was how my students reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Like with my proudest moment –yet to come in this list—my students filtered in throughout the morning of the attack, knowing that they needed to cover the event and its emotional impact on the campus, even though it happened a country away.

As an instructor, you train students to think like journalists, but you never know for sure how they will act when the real pressure hits. My student acted admirably. We had already been working on an addition to the paper, but the front page had to be redone and we still faced a deadline.

BTW, my third most proud moment as an instructor was just a few years ago when, toward the end of a school day students got word of a shooting across the street from the campus. Those still around rushed across the scene and acted even better than professionals who later showed up to cover the story.

Twenty-four hours later another shooting across from campus happened. This one was an officer-involved shooting. Though tired and somewhat emotionally exhausted –while simultaneously pumped up—from the event the night before, the students rushed back across the street and outshone the professionals again. In fact, in a couple of cases the professionals called on my students for help covering the story. “You’re there and we aren’t,” media professionals said after finding video coverage from my students in social media. Late, law enforcement again complimented their professional demeanor.

The 911 event was bigger, though not local, which is why it got this spot in my list, but it almost went the other way. I have OUTSTANDING students that I am continually proud of.

PREVIOUSLY: 10: The execution, 9: We don’t need no headlines, 8: The student who died, 7: It was just a matter of time, 6: Daddy come home

NEXT UP: The expletive

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