Q&A with Larry Smith


Q: How do you think The Journal is important to SHS?

A: “I think that high school journalism is crucially important. We live in a time in which facts are in dispute and I think that is incredibly dangerous for our democracy. … and I think that high school newspapers and yearbooks, like The Journal, are very important to our democracy.”

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of your career?

A: “The best and the worst thing is that I choose my own topics each week. When they approached me, Shannon Williams, the former Editor-in-Chief, I said, “Well what would you like me to write about?” And she said, “Well whatever you want,” so that sounds great but that also means I have to figure out what to write about because I do it each week. … and so to be a working adult, a parent, church responsibilities, voluntarism, all that, it takes a lot.”

Q: Did being on The Journal influence your decision on writing for the Indianapolis Recorder?

A: “In part, I was approached by the former editor-in-chief, I had written a couple op-eds over the years and my mother had written for the Indianapolis Recorder when I was a kid so when I was approached about whether I would like to write a column I jumped at that chance.”

Q: How did your time on The Journal prepare you for writing for the Indianapolis Recorder?

A: “Mrs. Jungemann really stressed a few things: one was journalistic integrity so that is very very important, secondly was being accurate so being thorough about checking your facts. … Third was the mechanics of writing. … It was definitely an invaluable experience writing here.”

Q: What was the most memorable experiences for you during your time on The Journal?

A: “Interviewing Jeff George, he was the #1 ranked high school quarterback in the entire country, so I went to a journalism conference, and I got to interview him there before he made it big and in the pros.”

Q: Do you have anything you would like to say to The Journal staff or students of SHS?

A: “I know it’s cliché but anything is possible. Secondly, writing is iterative so if you want to be a good writer then keep writing and keep reading and you can be a wonderful writer.”