In Francis Howell School District (FHSD), we know where to find the news – from our outstanding journalism students. Francis Howell North (FHN) High School’s Jacob Lintner recently returned from the program’s latest conference with a special honor. Lintner was named the Journalism Education Association (JEA) Student Journalist of the Year for Missouri, and also finished as a runner-up in the national competition. It’s the culmination of an extraordinary high school career, as well as the continuation of an inspired legacy.
Lintner is the school’s seventh Missouri state High School Journalist of the Year, and third FHN student to place in the national competition, joining Daniel Bodden in 2015 and Kelsey Bell in 2012. “It’s definitely exciting,” Lintner said. “During my sophomore year we had a student named Daniel Bodden who was named runner-up for National Student Journalist of the Year, and I realized at that time that was my goal, to be thought of as one of the best journalists in the country.” The goal was set, and Lintner would do whatever it took to get the ball across the line. And that goal wasn’t accomplished without a lot of hard work, and more than just a little bit of passion.
If it has to do with FHN sports, it has to do with Jacob Lintner. It was he, with the help of Brayton Larson and other students, who established FHN’s livestream, where fans can watch the FHN Knights action live online from the comfort of their own homes. It is rare to have a chance to see high school sports online, but it’s even more rare to have students make it happen. “Being able to let a grandma see her grandson play a football game means so much to me,” said Lintner. “This is bigger than just this room; it’s the most wide-reaching part of this program. Having someone come up and thank you for having the livestream really shows how sports can connect a community.”
Aaron Manfull is Lintner’s advisor at FHN. "It's been a lot of fun watching Jacob grow since his freshman year livestreaming the ballgames at North,” Manfull said. “His intrinsic motivation and personal goal-setting guided him through his time in the journalism program, and his work ethic with the broadcasts has been an incredible feat to watch."
The livestream portion of his work is just a Friday night duty. There are the daily tasks to tackle, too, such as keeping the FHNgameday.com website up-to-date. “I make sure everything is being updated, such as the scoreboard, on a daily basis,” he said.
“Anything that anyone writes related to sports, or any photo or video galleries that we put up, I make sure that those get copy-edited before they get published. Then we have our web hour, in which I oversee some of the up-and-coming sports writers, to help further their writing and help them learn more about sports journalism.”
That’s an important job for Lintner – making sure that his passion for the program doesn’t graduate with him. And he says that you don’t have to want to be the next Joe Buck or Bob Costas to participate in sports journalism. “The beauty of sports journalism is that you can write a feature story on an athlete and know nothing about the sport, or you can write a recap of a game and turn it into a 2,000-word narrative.” And it’s not just about sports, journalism skills transcend the newsroom. “Kids should get involved not just because they want to be a professional journalist,” Lintner said. “If you want to, that’s fine – join the club. But if you’re even mildly interested in making cool graphics, or you want to become a better writer, or you just really like photography or videography, or just like designing webpages or yearbook spreads, you can do all that in here. These skills aren’t only applicable to journalism, it’s more about creating people who know how to present information, who know how to speak, who know how to operate in a modern workplace.”
"While Jacob's time is coming to an end in the program,” Manfull said, “he has worked hard this year to make sure to take younger staffers under his wing and offer them tips to keep moving forward with what he's helped build."
Lintner said, “Being able to bring the story to the readers or listeners or viewers, it just makes me happy. Being part of one the greatest high school journalism programs in the country, I just think of how lucky I am.”
Lintner is heading to Boston University in the fall, and his passion and drive will be missed. What he has started at FHN will live on, however, and hopefully – just as a graduating senior inspired him – his work will inspire others to carry the ball across the goal line.