When the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission chair* nudged that group into the blogosphere and encouraged its members to volunteer to post on certain days, I said, “Sure.” Writing I like. Writing means I’m not cleaning the kitchen or grading freshman orientation papers. Besides, the First Amendment soapbox is a good vantage point.
But….is anyone out there? Anyone reading?
The blog analytics say yes…sorta. We’ve had 310 visits since September, for instance. A fair number were new visits but enough aren’t to seem like we must have a bit of a following. Still….the only comments have almost all been from one close friend.(Thank you, Susan.)
Did Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo start this way? Or Ariana Huffington? Or what about those who produce something on blogs.com? With 515 listed there, topics range from Top 10 Vintage Clothing Blogs to Top 10 NFL Stats & Analysts Blogs to Top 10 Crime Beat Blogs. If someone is interested in it, there’s a blog for it….in fact, probably at least 10 of them.
In all those, only three have “journalism” in part of the title (Top 10 Investigation Journalism Blogs, Joshua Benton’s Top 10 Blogs on the Future Of Journalism and Top 10 Visual Politics/Photojournalism Blogs). But there’s not a single one that includes “high school” or “free expression” or “First Amendment” in the title, much less any that put those ideas all together.
Still, studies show people ARE reading blogs and, more important, accepting the ideas they present. (Sometimes that’s a scary thought because not all bloggers have a sense of ethics and a concern for credibility … but that’s another issue.) That means, at least statistically, someone out there wants to know more about legal and ethical situations teens face. They want to keep up with free speech issues and with high school journalism, a solid way to teach critical thinking and let students practice democracy under the guidance of a trained adviser.
So, is anyone reading this? Probably, but if not today’s post, then maybe tomorrow’s or Tuesday’s or next Sunday’s. The Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission supports and writes about a cause that stands to make a bigger impact on individual and on the country than one of the Top 10 Popular Shoe Blogs or the 10 Popular All Xbox Blogs.
* And, in the interest of transparency, I’ll note he’s also my husband…and he doesn’t really care if the laundry is folded.read more