Limitations of High School Journalism


Gloria Baldevia, Staff Writer

I say this true, and I say this proud.  High school journalists are doing a much better job than the Kardashians when it comes to keeping up with things. Every month we plan, interview, and write different stories to tell and inform the student body.  Not only do we have to keep up with the pressure of having to come with a quality issue, but we also need to make sure that what we tell our readers is worth thinking about.

This is what we do.

As printed papers rustle and deadlines catch on in the wall-secluded area of room 326, hard-working journalists of CMR are riddled with pressure and anxiety to keep up with the publication every month.  I have been a part of a school paper since I was in fifth grade. From a lovey-dovey fluff of personal storytellings of my favorite color to topics like abortion, I have seen how the seriousness and maturity of topics of campus papers differ from when I was younger. Yet, the seriousness of a high school newspaper is still overlooked and dismissed as unimportant.  Maybe it’s because of the declining number of readers or the fact that we’re young and we are not yet allowed to vote and our opinions don’t really matter at this time. If I can count the number of times I have heard the phrase “children are the future,” I would probably be running out of breath right now. Adults would always say the phrase, but they never give us enough liberty to do things our own.  Even our political opinions and career decisions are influenced by their ideas, high school newspapers are no different.

Campus journalism is a place for students to tell stories through published medium. Most of the time, we would cover topics like homecomings and current updates on sports.  Sometimes we do movie and tv show reviews. However, more than talking about sports championships and pep rallies, our high school newspaper offers perspective. We try to cover stories that matter to the student body, offering both sides of the argument to help with the opinions of the readers.  I personally think that we are way past writing about the rumor mills that go on around school. A public expression is an important tool, especially in 2019 when everything you say or do might be considered as offensive .

Who can say what we really can and cannot write?  I honestly believe a journalist’s job includes assessing what should or should not be published in the newspapers.  I think that when publishing a story, we should learn about consequences. I have to admit that a journalist will not always be right and sometimes those mistakes can lead to more problems in the future.  It is important to create a balance of public information and respect. We don’t always have to assert ourselves in order to make a story so that everybody else is writing about it. If that happens, we admit that we are no better than rumor magazines.

Unlike other school newspapers in the country, we are lucky that we don’t have to undergo what is known as prior review, where someone of higher authority, like the school principal, must review and approve all of the articles of an issue before publishing.

Our own newspaper here at CMR have tried to tackle some social issues that target a specific group of people like abortion, vaping, and teen pregnancy.  However, when we investigate, interview, and write these articles, it is never our intent to degrade or humiliate other people. It is within our best interest to deliver an unbiased article to further the knowledge of the student body. One thing that we always try to make sure that we do when we write an article is that we try to take both sides of an argument. We want to educate as much as we can without compromising our freedom of speech. No one can ever say that what we write right now would be the same in the future.  For all we know, the future staff members of the Stampede would just look at the issues that we have written now and dismiss it as fluffy and not inclusive enough. When you reach a certain age, you would just know what is considered to be impactful or not to the audiences.