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DSST: Montview HS's award-winning journalism program is making huge strides for young journalists

Written by the DSST: Montview High School journalism team:

Journalism is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast, but by MTVnews’ definition, it is being creative and using that as a stepping stool for an intellectual, scholarly community. The journalism class at DSST: Montview High School has informed the community of school events and national holidays and acted as a beacon of positivity in today’s world.

The journalism class at DSST: Montview has been around for years, but in 2019, the first MTVnews was broadcasted around the school.

Toni Trujillo, the teacher who founded the journalism class and is now the journalism advisor, said, “MTVnews was designed to give the students a platform to share their ideas with the school and surrounding communities because they could no longer host the weekly morning meetings at the school.”

However, even since the return of morning meetings, MTVnews remains a staple in our school culture because it is a critical way to get information out to everybody and for students to express themselves creatively.

Since 2019 our journalism class has taken tremendous strides. A website was built, and a weekly news broadcast was created. Our broadcast news won the First Amendment Press Freedom Award in 2022, and we recently found out that we won for the second year in a row. While these accomplishments make our journalism team incredibly proud, we have bigger goals in sight.


“That’s a great idea!” said Mikias Berhane when our MTV journalism students brought up the idea to develop an investigative story on the school’s history and if the rumors about the ghost lurking are true.

While the future of our young journalism program is uncertain, we know that with good planning, we can accomplish our goals.

“If we remain in this direction, with this momentum, the upcoming youth will not only develop more emotional complexities but also more pathways with each other, creating a more tight-knit community,” said senior Declan Cooper when asked about the future of MTVnews.

This has been our primary goal. While we want to create an excellent news broadcast, we also want to connect students through the power of journalism. We hope to inspire more students to pursue the journalism arts and climb the ranks in our journalism class. Through the support of Trujillo and the experienced senior editors, the journalism program can only go up.


Click! Leo takes a picture capturing a moment from a different perspective, showing the technique and determination it takes to become a great photographer.

Creating these broadcasts is a weekly goal. Senior editors spearhead idea generation so that journalists can be prepared to film on Monday. With segments like Teacher of the Week, sports announcements and features the news is always unique. Once pitches and drafts are in, the editors will watch the segments and edit the videos to get them news ready. Journalists of the class are also learning lessons, such as following supreme court cases and the importance of freedom of speech. These lessons are a cornerstone of our journalism program as they allow students to see how impactful their work can be and how journalism is utilized in the real world. Even after the senior editors leave for college, the footprint they leave will create a lasting legacy of success.


Peter Thompson and Kaiir Hicks, our MTV editors-in-chief, are writing up a script for students to film a video for the DSST Home Office.

Journalism has helped a lot of students find their voices in our school. Last year's journalism class project was a segment on school theft. After a teacher had a purse stolen the journalism class took the opportunity to educate the school on the harms of theft. This segment dove deep into how theft in school affects all students and staff. This project took over two full weeks and ended with a message on how to build a better culture. This project received a lot of support from students and teachers.

The use of journalism in schools successfully brings valuable connections among our students. As adolescents, we are mostly affected by social isolation, struggle to find who we truly are, and the passion that lives deep inside us. More often than not, students struggle to find that breath of fresh air in their school's environment. Journalism has truly been the escape some students have long desired. It is a place that enables them to have their voices heard and uplifted.

One of our dedicated senior editors, Kaiir Hicks, said, "journalism has allowed (students) to express their opinions about the community and be able to be the change they want to see within the school and community.”

As for our students, they have said that journalism has opened new opportunities to build new social and academic skills they didn't think they were capable of.

Watch this special MTVnews broadcast created for this article:


Thanks to Peter Thompson, Mikias Berhane, Kaiir Hicks, Henoc Mahary, Isaac Reynolds, Roberto Alejandro Martinez, Paola, London Foster and Sebastian Lopez-Finch for their amazing work on this post!