Medea Creek Middle School starts up new journalism program

Deep diving behind-the-scenes of the Panther Post


This year, the Talon Online has added a new section to its website. In addition, the Oak Park High School Talon now has a Medea Creek Middle School Panther Post. Talon News Editor Mara Hankins started this program to help teach young people about journalism.

“I wanted to start the program because I love journalism and I wanted to help others learn more about journalism,” said Hankins.

Every Tuesday, Hankins goes to MCMS and holds a meeting for the Panther Journalism club. Students from 6th-8th grade attend the meeting to learn more about journalism writing. Hankins brings in section editors from the Talon to discuss the different aspects of journalism and writing expectations. Since this program is new to middle school, she tries to teach the students the fundamentals about writing articles. 

“I really want to hold them to the same standards as the high school level. I want them to get as much journalism experience as possible. So I test them on AP Style, grammar, writing techniques and expectations we uphold here at the Talon,” Hankins said. “Also, I emphasize ethics and accuracy to make sure to represent people in the best possible way.”

Hankins’ main goal for this program is to have more and more students join so that the club can continue and bring more interest to journalism. She hopes the program will keep running and expand even when she graduates. 

“I’m hoping to establish a legacy and make it a long-standing program at MCMS,” Hankins said.

At the last meeting, Hankins brought in Zoey Mortazavi and Allie Wang, the current Editors-in-Chief of the Talon, to talk more about journalism and many other things on how to run the program efficiently and effectively. In doing this, Hankins hopes that another student will have the drive to continue this program.

“Maybe in the future, when I’m a senior, someone in the publication will take over once I leave. I want to establish this program within Medea Creek,” Hankins said.