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Save your high school newspaper

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A re-Tweet from Cheryl Pell of Michigan State University caught my attention today.

Pell highlighted an MSU student’s blog called New Media Shift and written by a former high school journalist, Erica Shekell of Howell, Michican. Shekell urged others to write letters in support of their student newspapers. Why? Because student newspapers in particular – and some say newspapers everywhere – are in trouble.

We have seen continuing instances of that in the last few years. Censorship. Media shut down because of decreasing funding. Refocusing on other curricular areas to meet the needs of a test-hungry educational system. Varieties of reasons.

So Shekell created a challenge: “write to your old newspaper teacher (or find the old one) and write to the administrators and school board in support of your high school newspaper. Let them know why newspapers are still important and why reading from a textbook can never replace first-hand journalism experience.”

As she asks, “what did your high school paper do for you?”

Let’s join her in not only asking that question and but in answering it. Write your school boards and your local media. Stress the value of journalism in schools, in communities, in the country.

The student newspaper you save might be your own.

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