Germantown Academy student creates newspaper for aspiring journalists

FORT WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Maddie Gamburg, an 18-year-old student at Germantown Academy, has a huge passion for journalism and writing.

"I just like the writing process and you always have to go through the challenges and bumps. It's kind of like solving a little puzzle or detective case, which is what I love so much about journalism," she said.

She hopes to be an investigative reporter one day, or maybe even set her aspirations a bit higher.

"A little unrealistic, but editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal," Gamburg said.

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But after the pandemic was in full swing, and schools resorted to virtual learning, she noticed that it was difficult for students to come across new opportunities in journalism.

"It's very hard for high school students to get internships at this age because a lot of the employers require you to complete your freshman year of college," Gamburg said.

So, she began The Rocky, an online newspaper for student writers who need experience with writing, and something to put on their resume. So far, she has recruited students from over 12 schools in the Philadelphia area.

"Everyone was out of school, so we had a lot of time on our hands and they were excited to have something to do," she said. "A lot of them were excited to write and we've been writing a bunch of different articles from news to arts to sports, opinion pieces."

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"Another part of this is teaching people more about journalism because a lot of schools don't teach that," she said. "So teaching students how to write ledes, about news, features, structure and just how to write a well-structured paragraph."

And in addition to helping students, there is a bigger picture, too.

"To know that I'm helping my community and serving my community. It just fulfills what I feel is my responsibility to inform the public of the truth and really unite the community," Gamburg said.
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