Journalism is part of our daily lives that we turn to for knowledge, curiosity or entertainment. As print journalism is dwindling, and journalism finds itself more at home online, journalistic skills are becoming more important than ever. In Spring of 2017, UH Maui College will be offering a journalism class that will not only teach students how to evaluate journalism they see, but also the skills required to become reliable and skilled journalists themselves. Even if you do not wish to become a journalist, journalistic skills can be an extreme benefit to individuals of all majors and professions.
The class will be taught by David Raatz, long time journalist and current Director of Council Services for the County of Maui. Journalism skills have aided Raatz throughout his life and career and now he hopes to teach students those valuable skills. “The ability to gather accurate information and to write about it in timely, objective, clear and concise manner, those are skills that are important in almost any academic endeavor regardless of what your major might be, and almost any profession,” said Raatz.
Raatz first entered the world of journalism at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Sports Information Program where he was exposed to media outlets and journalists at a young age. Starting his sophomore year, he worked as a writer and editor in the USC athletic department and published his first article in 1986 and has been hooked on journalism ever since.
After he graduated, Raatz became a magazine editor for California Football Magazine and worked as a freelance writer for Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times. Even as he attended law school and continued onto his current career, his journalism skills have been a constant benefit to him. “I almost think that news writing should be mandatory in some ways because its so beneficial to people,” said Raatz, “I really developed skills in critical thinking, critical reading and both of those things lead to good writing that has helped me even as I’ve transitioned from a journalism career to a legal career.”
In his class Raatz would like to demystify the writing process and help students become more confident in their writing. His class will include critical thinking, covering events, interpreting documents, writing on deadline, writing opinion pieces, features and advocacy journalism, as well as learning how to evaluate the news they see as trustworthy and reliable. Students in the journalism class will also have the opportunity to have their work published in Ho’oulu, the UH Maui College student newspaper.
Raatz explained that the journalism class will also benefit students who wish to major in the sciences because they will learn how to convert scientific articles into writing that the average person can read and understand. “I can’t think of the type of student that wouldn’t benefit from being exposed to news writing,” said Raatz.
The journalism class will be available during the 2017 Spring semester at UH Maui College. The class is taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:15pm. The class is a writing intensive and worth 3 credits. UH Maui College students can register for it using CRN 47388.