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Submissions for Making a Difference, 2015

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Jane Blystone
Advisers, as you prepare for the end of year contest submissions, consider entering student work in the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission Making a Difference project. You can fill out this online form and upload documents for consideration for publication. Making a Difference Submissionssprclogo

We published our first copy of Making a Difference in hard copy in 1988 because of the Hazelwood malaise. In that version, now downloadable, we highlighted scholastic reporting that demonstrated  student journalism did not need the heavy hard of prior review and censorship. That tradition continues today and will continue so long as students continue to take their roles seriously and professionally.

In 2012, we committed ourselves to updating the project, hoping to show student journalism had not succumbed to Hazelwood.

We have seen some great work by student journalists across the country covering some intense topics. Let’s show the country what great work student journalists are doing that rivals work done by professional journalists.

This is the TINY URL if the link does not work.  http://tinyurl.com/nqpclzh
See past submissions here.
 
If you have questions, email me off list at jane.blystone@gmail.com
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Students report on shattered dreams

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Part of a monthly series

sprclogoAt this time of year, students look forward to many end of year and end of high school events like prom and graduation parties. The AHS Talon at Atascocita High School in Humble, Texas, did expansive coverage of a school-wide conversation about the impact of drunken driving.

Adviser Monica Rhor said, “Our online package examining the impact of reckless driving expanded a school-wide conversation that began with a “Shattered Dreams” event. The stories included daily reports from the day of “Shattered Dreams,” which showed the immediate impact of the program, and a more in-depth series that showed real life consequences. The “Danger Behind the Wheel” series, which included interviews with the families and friends of people killed and injured by drunk drivers, helped students see beyond the numbers and the staged event and recognize the real human cost of drunk driving.”

The real to life experiences of the “Shattered Dreams” event hit home three days after the event when an Atascocita High School graduate was killed by a driver who police allege was drunk.

Their stories can be found at this link:
http://ahstalon.com/category/shattered-dreams/

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Students support peers across the country in censorship case

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Blog, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Part four of a series – Making a Difference

In celebration of the anniversary of the February 25, 1969, United States Supreme Court Tinker vs. Des Moines, the JEA SPRC Making a Difference project salutes the The Foothill Dragon Press at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura (Calif.) for their support of fellow student journalists across country at the Playwickian, at Neshaminy High School (Pa.).

When student journalists at The Foothill Dragon Press learned that their peers were being censored, they posted this editorial on their website, entitled When one student is threatened, we are all threatened.

Their adviser, Melissa Wantz wrote “When the Neshaminy School Board in Langhorne, Pa., decided to rewrite district policy to prevent student editors at Neshaminy High School from prohibiting the word “Redskin” — a term the newspaper voted to ban from its pages — my students decided to use their editorial power to denounce the school board and to support the Playwickian newspaper staff. The day after the editorial was published online at www.foothilldragonpress.org, it was quoted or linked on social media, email and in an article published by the Student Press Law Center.

After researching and writing this editorial over a weekend, The Foothill Dragon Press journalists suddenly understood what it might feel like to lose their freedom and how they have to be prepared to fight for the First Amendment. The staff of the Playwickian expressed gratitude for The Foothill Dragon Press support by using their free speech rights to publicly comment beneath the online editorial.”

In September, the Playwickian staff had funds removed from their publishing account and one of their editors, Gillian McGoldrick, was suspended from her editorial position for a month. The adviser, Tara Huber was also suspended for three days without pay, because she did not censor her students for their practice of banning the term “Redskin” in their newspaper.

Once again the Foothills Dragon staff rose to the challenge and started an independent, national fundraiser to help pay for the publishing funds removed and the three days of pay the teacher lost as a result of the administrative discipline. That fundraiser surpassed the $2,400 in two days and reached a total of $6,810 to support their peers.

Like Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker, these student journalists in Ventura, Calif., have made a national difference along with their peers in Langhorne, Pa. via scholastic journalism.

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How to handle the gun story

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Ethical Issues, Law and Ethics, Uncategorized | 0 comments

by Jane Blystone
Advisers who have asked how to localize stories about guns need look no further. The HiLite staff at Carmel High School (Ind.) show student journalists how to handle such a story package.

Adviser Jim Streisel shared “My HiLite students wanted to localize the issue of guns for our student readers by discussing the upcoming NRA convention in Indianapolis as well as recent legislation that now allows people to have guns on school property.”

Writer Christine Fernando’s story”Guns are the tool, not the evil” counterbalances Caitlin Muller’s “Guns are engineered for violence’ story.

There cover and two pages of the issue can be read here.

Gun story cover

Gun Story first spread

Gun Story Second spread

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Make history come alive by interviewing local veterans

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Blog, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Beginning today, the JEA SPRC Making a Difference Project will feature a student publication each month featuring work of scholastic journalists that has made a difference in their schools and in their communities. This is the first in a ten-part series. All upcoming posts for the Making a Difference project were published during the 2013-2014 school year.

The Bagpiper staff at Freeman High School in Rockford, Wash. developed a story package that required interviewing of many local veterans and prepped them for publication on Veteran’s Day.  In this package the staff as well as students in their school paid tribute to various branches of the military and individual members of the local veterans groups.

According to adviser Pia Longinotti, “My staff created a special edition honoring Freeman’s military members. Distributed at our Veteran’s Day assembly, the issue told the stories of our military personnel. As an adviser, I was floored by my staff members’ desire to give back to those who served. The reactions of our veterans when they received their copies were incredible. They were so touched by the articles and time taken to tell their stories. Some even Facebooked the issue. The nine students involved showed how much it means to the Freeman School District to have dedicated people protect our freedom, creating a heartfelt thank you.”

If you are planning a Veteran’s Day issue, you can  glean ideas for your Veteran’s Day issue from this staff. Click on the link below to read complete issue of The Bagpiper as a PDF.

Freeman HS – November2013Final

 

 

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