Born from Post-Pandemic Challenges, Opens Virtual Doors to Journalism Professionals

From the very beginning when I created my Broadcast Journalism class, it was designed as a
newsroom. And if I wanted my students to mimic the work that happened in a newsroom, then I
wanted them to hear from people that work in a newsroom. Initially, this started with field trips to
news stations. The insight that my students gained with their feet on the ground of a live NBC
affiliate was immeasurable. However, following the pandemic, field trips became a lot harder to
take, and I was really hoping to continue to bring those professional voices into my classroom.
Thus, the idea for was born. is a website with a growing catalog of guest speakers that hit on each of the JEA
Standards for Journalism Educators. When looking at the standards, diversity was at the
forefront of my mind because it was an area that I felt I could advocate for and practice;
however, sharing the voices of diverse speakers would be even more impactful in my classroom
and hopefully the classrooms of other advisers. This is when I brought in Kyndell Harkness from
the Star Tribune. Harkness, Head of Culture and Community, provided her perspective and
expertise in promoting diversity in news coverage and in the newsroom. In addition, a local
reporter from KARE-TV, Sharon Yoo, spoke on her own experiences with diversity.

While a strong focus of Jspeak is on providing diverse voices and perspectives, a lot of other
important work was done to provide resources for teachers to hit on all of the other JEA
Standards. Many local reporters and anchors were interviewed about their career, their journey,
and about topics such as ethics, the business of journalism, and the changes in the industry.
Each interview and guest speaker is accompanied by a set of discussion questions to get
students thinking and talking. is a growing website and is always open to receiving shared guest speakers. Visit to utilize videos of guest speakers in your classroom or to share a guest
speaker of your own.

Rachel Chrest

Rachel Chrest is a Broadcast Journalism adviser from Spectrum High School. She has been advising NOISE News since its inception more than a decade ago. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and English from the University of Minnesota as well as a Master of Arts in Education degree from Augsburg University. She created as a place for advisers to share professional guest speakers. She has a great passion for student journalism, service, and great storytelling.

Rachel Chrest has 1 posts and counting. See all posts by Rachel Chrest

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