So You Want to Join Sword & Shield


Alexa Stephens

Some members of Advanced Journalism pose for a picture during lunch.

Roger Xu, Staff Writer

Are you looking to join journalism? Maybe you’ve read dozens of articles on the UHS Sword & Shield website before this one or pored over the pages of the school magazine. Maybe you want a platform to showcase your writing or an extracurricular that will help you grow both intellectually and personally. Even if writing isn’t your strong suit, perhaps you want to try your hand at recording a podcast or creating graphics. Whatever the reason, anyone can join journalism.

UHS provides two main avenues for students wanting to get involved in journalism: the class and the club. If you’re a freshman looking to write for the school publication, you can take Beginning Journalism as an English elective course and proceed to Advanced Journalism the following year. If you’re a sophomore through senior, however, don’t worry – you can directly enroll in Advanced Journalism and begin writing articles for publication almost right away. 

While joining the journalism courses will provide the most complete experience, UHS Journalism Club provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop their writing, editing and communication skills for those who don’t have as much time to dedicate to journalism. Whether through the courses or the club, getting involved in journalism in one way or another offers numerous benefits that will not only enhance students’ academic profiles but also enrich their personal lives. 

First of all, joining Sword & Shield offers students an opportunity to improve their writing skills. Writing is an essential skill that is required in every aspect of life, and journalism provides an avenue for students to sharpen their writing skills. Staff writers are exposed to various forms of writing, including news reporting, human-interest stories, opinion writing and investigative journalism. Through these forms of writing, students learn to express their thoughts and ideas more clearly, concisely and coherently. Such skills will not only be useful in academic pursuits but also future careers.

Secondly, Sword & Shield provides a platform for students to develop their editing and proofreading skills. Whether you are an editor or staff writer, all students are heavily involved in the editing and proofreading of articles, ensuring that they are error-free, well-researched and accurate. Such skills are essential in various fields, including publishing, law and business. Both the classes and club offer students an opportunity to work collaboratively, share ideas and learn from each other’s mistakes. This collaborative environment allows students to develop critical thinking skills and learn from their peers.

Another benefit of joining Sword & Shield is that it provides an opportunity for students to learn about current events and issues affecting their community. Staff writers are tasked with researching and reporting on various issues affecting UHS and the wider community. Through such research, students gain a deeper understanding of the issues affecting their community and the world at large. This knowledge not only enhances their academic profile but also their personal lives, as they become more informed and engaged members of society.

Furthermore, Sword & Shield offers students an opportunity to develop their communication skills. When gathering information for their articles, students have the chance to interview a wide range of students and teachers, forming meaningful connections with people they otherwise would not encounter. Through such interactions, students learn to communicate effectively and build relationships. Such skills are essential in various fields, including public relations, marketing and sales.

Finally, joining Sword & Shield can provide students with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Staff writers have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their school and community by reporting on important issues, highlighting positive news and giving a voice to those who may not have one. Through their work, students can help shape the narrative of the school and create a better understanding of the world around them. This sense of purpose and fulfillment can lead to greater self-confidence, motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

In conclusion, joining Sword & Shield offers students a wide range of benefits, including improving their writing and editing skills, learning about current events and issues, developing their communication skills, collaborating with other students and finding a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Whether you’re an aspiring New York Times columnist or a novice writer, Sword & Shield can be an excellent way to gain valuable experience and exposure to the world of media and journalism.