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Why the future is ours to mold

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Recently, it has become commonplace for individuals to demonize journalists for the way we do our jobs — for doing investigative work, using anonymous sources and even for choosing journalism as a career.

We’re not immune to criticism as high school journalists. But let’s be perfectly clear: America isn’t free without the work we do. America needs journalists, but just as importantly: America needs scholastic journalists.

Scholastic journalism is important because student publications give the youth of America a platform to speak out and investigate deeper into stories that need better coverage. Student journalists do not need to stand in the shadows and cower behind the oppression of what other journalists have faced.

One only has to look at President Trump’s Twitter history to see something disparaging about the nature of the press, about whom they offended, about how they twisted a story to a biased perspective. It is not a journalist’s job, however, to make sure everyone’s feelings are okay. Without strong scholastic journalism programs, we risk an entire generation of citizens who will not understand or appreciate the work of a free press. Yes, controversial topics rise to the surface, but that is the “classroom” for student journalists. They need to learn how to broadcast their voice in a way their message will get across.

These journalists can not be told “no” in fear of the repercussions of a story. Our job is to report what is going on.

We, as high school journalists, are the ones who students will come to when something is happening at the school or in the community. Yes, there are city publications, but they are not living their day-to-day lives at our school and hearing the conversations between administrators,  teachers and students.

We are here to dig deeper into stories and seek truth. We are here to keep the courage and integrity of the press positive.

Student journalists are more than photographers and writers. We are everything in between, storytellers, watch dogs, representatives, citizens, students and more. These roles compose scholastic journalism.

The leadership and technical skills scholastic journalists obtain during their high school career is outstanding. These skills transpose students into more mature individuals, independent thinkers and skillful leaders in the newsroom and community alike.

Publication leaders on editorial boards and advisory boards know how to help others and coach them along. We know how to treat each other with respect.

We know when to stand our ground and how to approach delicate situations. We are more than a flipbook with questions and a camera around our neck. We are here for the emotion —every smile and every tear.

This is our job and this is who we are.

#AmericaNeedsJournalists

Originally published in Quill and Scroll’s Fall 2018 Magazine: https://issuu.com/quillscroll/docs/fall_2018_magazine_final

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About the Writer
Bronlyn Holland, Editor in Chief

Bronlyn Holland, a well-organized and kind-hearted senior of many talents, enters her fourth and final year of High School here at Ola. Holland has concluded...

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Why the future is ours to mold