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Highlighting our youth
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Hello Turlock Journal readers! My name is Jonathan McCorkell and I am the new education reporter here. I just wanted to introduce myself and give you a brief outline of who I am, my journalism history and my journalistic philosophy.

My background in journalism started when I joined the Navy and attended the Department of Defense Information School in Maryland where I studied journalism. After school I was stationed at the Navy Southwest Region headquarters in San Diego.  I worked as a public affairs journalist for the Navy and wrote for numerous Navy to civilian publications in Southern California.

After leaving the Navy I worked at the Coronado Eagle & Journal, the Mariposa Gazette, followed by a short stint at the Union Democrat in Sonora last summer. Over the years I’ve covered nearly every aspect of journalism that a community journalist could. I’ve covered government, sports, human interest, crime and the environment.

The reason I got into journalism was because I enjoyed writing as a kid and I have a natural fascination with society and how it works.

Moving on to who I am and my journalism philosophy. I am 31 years old and I’ve been married to my wife (who is far too beautiful to be with me!) for going on eight years. We are both originally from Sacramento. My wife and I have three kids, a five year old and three year old twins (yes…we are done).  We currently live in Merced and our kids all attend Our Lady of Mercy School.

In the past few years, as my children have begun pre-school and kindergarten, I have become much more aware of the impact education can have on a child’s life. In my opinion, the keys to a happy childhood and a good life are motivating educational experiences and a loving, nurturing home life.  With effort, everything else will fall in line.

So, as a parent of young children, I can say I understand how people in the community can be passionate about education. My philosophy is that it is my job to deliver stories that highlight the good works of youth in the community.  I believe that if children know that people in the community appreciate and support what they do more and more children will work to make a difference.

I also believe that it is my job to inform readers about what area schools are doing to prepare children for life, the workplace and college. Another aspect of my job is to ensure the community is aware of the fiscal and educational activities of area school districts.

Finally, I feel it is important to note that teachers and administrators are some of my heroes — the overwhelming majority of who are in this business because they care about kids and they care about our future. Kids are definitely our most valuable asset and if we as a society start putting our money where our mouth is then maybe things like crime, apathy and the breakdown of families will correct themselves or be dramatically reduced. Love, education and some hard work are the most important lessons youth can have in life. 

Enough of my soapbox! When I’m not at work I coach my 5-year-old daughter’s basketball team, which has dominated through three games this season, and I basically just help raise three little kids. They’re all potty-trained so that is a huge milestone! There isn’t much free time at my house but when I do get some I enjoy rooting for the Sacramento Kings and spending time with friends and family and watching movies. I used to play basketball on a daily basis but now I hardly ever do, which I will have to change since all the kids are finally potty trained.

Please feel free contact me here at the Journal at 634-9141 ext. 2015 or e-mail me at