The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

Desert Sun Reporters Visit the Knight Times

Stayg Hadley
Reporters Niki Kottmann (left) and Ema Sasic (right) speak with Knight Times journalists on Oct. 7, 2023.

Desert Sun journalists Niki Kottmann and Ema Sasic recently visited Shadow Hills High School to inspire young journalists. Kottmann and Sasic have worked together for a little over two years, and although their personalities differ, they’ve conquered similar journalistic experiences. Both attended rigorous journalism programs in the Midwest, then migrated to California in hopes of pursuing bigger careers in media. 

During their visit, they shared what a day in the life of a journalist looks like, from their schedules to obstacles, and from deadlines to being able to pivot. Unique to the Desert Sun is an extremely early 1:30 PM daily deadline. That’s when the paper’s layout designer in Phoenix needs to set the publication to get to print on time. 

The reporters told the students that journalism includes a learning curve, and that writers have to be ready to report on anything. For example, Sasic said she found herself covering the pandemic without any medical experience. 

“Be open to learning and adapting to new experiences and reporting advances,” Sasic, now the health reporter, advised.

Similarly, Kottmann, the Desert Sun’s features editor, has covered local business news, something she didn’t know much about before she started. 

“My specialty in college was always arts and entertainment journalism,” Kottmann explained. 

Adding, “I didn’t really know anything about real estate before…but it made me a better worker because I was open and eager to learn.”

Another important facet to journalism? Find the experts. 

“Journalists are never really the expert in anything,” Kottmann told the students. “[A journalist’s] job is to find the expert and learn from them, and then find a way to make that information really easy to read and understand.”

During the presentation, Knight Times reporters gained valuable insight on the dos and don’ts of proper reporting. Kottmann and Sasic encouraged them to know their target audience, branch out to different topics, and to use their writing to build connections with readers. 

The students learned that, ultimately, that’s what journalism is about, making connections. 

“Sometimes you just meet cool people with fascinating stories, and you’d never know unless you take the time to interview them,” Kottmann pointed out. 

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About the Contributors
Bryanna Valenzuela, Staff Reporter
Bryanna is a reporter for the Shadow Hills Knight Times newspaper. She is a backyard chicken farmer, chai tea boba lover, and professional Bull Riding (PBR) enthusiast. She loves writing about school events and watching local news to stay up to date on what's happening in our community.
Stayg Hadley
Stayg Hadley, Sports Reporter
Stayg is a student at Shadow Hills High School. He spends time at home playing video games and talking to friends. On the weekends, Stayg will almost always have work early in the morning. If you see him, he'll have an AirPod in his ear, listening to music. Every week during football season, three hours are dedicated to watching the San Francisco 49ers. He knows a lot about sports and spends time making his fantasy football team the best it can be.
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