Requiring schools to teach journalism

January 10, 2019 | Times Record

Society needs people who can produce real news, so should Arkansas high schools be required to offer a class teaching those skills?

Rep. Julie Mayberry, R-Hensley, says yes, which is why her House Bill 1015 would require high schools to offer journalism as an elective. That’s the way it was until July 2018, when the Arkansas Board of Education voted to instead allow school districts the option of providing the class.

Mayberry believes that was a mistake for several reasons. Journalism has always been a critical check and balance on the government. In fact, she said, it’s so important that the Founding Fathers listed freedom of the press in the very First Amendment. She as a legislator relies on the newspaper to inform her about meetings she can’t attend.

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