Ways to Explore Journalistic Writing

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Close up caucasian woman hand on wooden table inside cafe makes notes in notebook. Subject freelancer blogger journalist at work. Unrecognizable person. Technology phone and laptop with cup coffee.

If you’re interested in pursuing journalistic writing, you don’t need to wait until college to get started. In fact, exploring different types of writing can help give high school students a head start for the college admissions process because you’ll develop a better idea of what kind of content you most enjoy writing and how that factors into your college admissions goals. 

From podcast interviews to publishing a weekly advice column, there are many ways students can explore different types of journalism and writing. Keep reading for a few project ideas that can help aspiring journalists learn more about the field and begin to identify the opportunities that interest them most.  

Launch a Blog

Whether you’re passionate about fashion or fitness, starting a blog can be an excellent opportunity to explore journalism, practice your writing skills, and share your interests with others. Take some time to explore different ideas for what you want your blog to cover and the target audience you hope to reach. Once you have a vision for your blog in mind, start exploring different blogging platforms — many are free to use, such as Wix and Blogger 

In addition to fine-tuning your writing skills, starting a blog can help students learn more about photo editing and web publishing, which are important areas of expertise for those considering a career in digital media.  

Start Your Own Podcast

If interviewing is what excites you most about journalism, creating your own podcast can give you real-world experience. Much like starting a blog, it’s important to think about what you want your podcast to cover and the kind of audience you hope to reach. If you’re not already listening to podcasts, select a few to listen to for inspiration.  

Once you’re ready to begin interviewing, don’t be afraid to start small. Family members and friends can make great interview subjects, especially if you know how to ask the right questions. Brainstorm a list of topics you want to cover and queries to ask, and then get started. Even if your first few interviews feel a little awkward, learning how to listen to and engage with your subject is a crucial skill that aspiring journalists need to hone.  

Look for an Internship

Don’t forget to search for opportunities in your community as well. Whether you write for a local newspaper or create content for one of your favorite websites, do some research to see if there are any summer internships that align with your interests and goals. If you’re having a hard time finding opportunities, consider reaching out to your high school English teacher for recommendations. 

Enroll in a Summer Program 

There are a variety of summer programs in journalism that cater to high school students, including pre-college programs that give you a preview of what college life is like. Some of these programs are offered online, while others have a residency requirement. In addition to journalistic writing, students in these programs can learn investigative reporting, broadcast journalism, digital media, journalism law and ethics, and more.  

These options are still open for 2024: 

Get Your Work Published

Whether it’s seeing your name in print or getting your first byline, many journalists are eager to get their work published. If this is one of your goals, it’s important to do your research and create a plan of action. Working with a mentor can also be beneficial because they can give you feedback on your journalistic writing and identify actions you can take to bring your work to the next level. Start by identifying a few target publications you’re interested in and reading as much of their content as possible to get a feel for what they are looking for. Once you have a draft that you’re proud of, don’t be afraid to send it out. While rejections can be disappointing, they are also something that every journalist deals with, so don’t get discouraged if your work isn’t published right away.  

Look for platforms that support high school journalists. The Los Angeles Times, for example, hosts High School Insider, a user-generated content platform that allows students to share news stories that matter to them. 

Take Online Courses 

If you want to take a deeper dive into journalism and writing, you can find a variety of free online courses that you can complete at your own pace. Here are our recommendations: 


Journalism can be an exciting career path for students, particularly for those with a love of language and an ongoing sense of curiosity. If you’re getting ready to apply to college and looking for journalistic writing programs, our team of admissions experts can help you identify your best-fit opportunities. Contact us today to learn more.  


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