I had a blast today helping a group of Spokane Valley high school students brainstorm for their class project. Ms. Hearrean’s math class is investigating the decision by city council to make the main road through the City of Spokane Valley into a one-way street. Known as the Appleway/Sprague couplet. The expensive project has upset many business owners who say they’ve been hurt financially by the change. We did an open discussion format where the students asked question about how to stay unbiased and where they should start.
What a great moment for reflection, for me, as a journalist. It reminded me how passionate I am about teaching. I feel a sense of duty to inform the public so they can make rational and educated decisions. Research both sides of the argument and present it fairly. I told them if people can’t tell who’s side I’m on then I’ve done my job right. They seemed to appreciate the perspective and suggestions. For me, it just felt awesome to help jump start their project and it gave me an opportunity to remind myself why I do, what I do.
They had some other interesting questions, too. “Does your press pass get you into places for free?” Just the courthouse really…it looks cool, but doesn’t get me any perks. And they asked if local reporters are competitive with each other. I said, “Yes, just like anchorman without the brawl.” They laughed and invited me back to sit on the project review panel. I’m incredibly excited to see what they come up with in their investigation.