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We have the responsibility to ensure
administrators see journalism’s values

In the spirit of Constitution Day, help administrators. know what journalism means to the continuation of America’s democracy:

School administrators can feel tremendous pressure to protect their schools’ reputations, so it’s understandable that they may be wary of supporting a scholastic press where students have final say over all content.

Educating administrators about the value of journalism at the high school level is a crucial step towards empowering student journalists and building a future with more engaged democratic citizens.

If we, as educators and school leaders, want to teach our students the importance of citizenship, we must empower them to be citizens within the school walls. 

If we, as educators and school leaders, want to teach our students the importance of citizenship, we must empower them to be citizens within the school walls.

Administrators can do that by hiring a qualified journalism adviser to teach students the foundations of ethical, responsible journalism, and journalism advisers should encourage ongoing dialogue between student staffs and their school administrators.

Administrators can do that by hiring a qualified journalism adviser to teach students the foundations of ethical, responsible journalism, and journalism advisers should encourage ongoing dialogue between student staffs and their school administrators.

Providing school leaders with a copy of Quill & Scroll’s Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism is a good start, but busy administrators may not find the time to read it.

Journalism advisers and publications staffs should reach out to administrators to engage in face-to-face dialogue about their publication process so school leaders can see the logistics behind selecting, pitching, reporting, editing and publishing content, including how editors handle controversial stories. Students can explain how abstract common core goals come to life in their work as journalists and make a strong case for supporting their publications.

Scholastic journalism provides students with 21st century skills, curiosity about their world and a concrete experience of citizenship. Journalism classes encompass more 21st century skills set out in the Framework for 21st Century Learning than any other high school class, including global awareness, civic literacy, media literacy, collaboration, initiative and self direction, leadership and many more.

Scholastic journalism also connects to a vast number of Common Core goals. Research suggests that students in journalism classes also get better grades in high school, earn higher scores on the ACT and get better grades as college freshmen.

In addition to these positive academic outcomes, scholastic journalism programs led by qualified journalism educators foster responsible civic engagement, as students learn about their First Amendment Rights and become engaged with their school, local, national and global communities.

Student journalists with final say on their own content embrace their roles as democratic citizens who take ownership and are accountable for their decisions. Administrators who support scholastic journalism programs are supporting a future with more engaged democratic citizens 

 

Topic: Administration and scholastic journalism

Guideline:Publication staffs should reach out to school administrators to educate them about the benefits of scholastic journalism and to build trusting relationships. 

Social media post/question:Why should administrators support scholastic journalism?

Stance: Administrators should support scholastic journalism as a tool for building collaborative, creative and civically engaged citizens.

Administrators who understand the process of responsible journalism and the 21st century skills inherent in becoming a student journalist are more likely to support publication programs and student press freedoms.

Reasoning/suggestions: Scholastic journalism is a crucial part of school culture, as it provides students with 21st century skills, curiosity about their world and a concrete experience of citizenship.

Journalism classes encompass more 21st century skills set out in the Framework for 21st Century Learningthan any other high school class, including global awareness, civic literacy, media literacy, collaboration, initiative and self-direction, leadership and many more.

 

Scholastic journalism also fulfills to a vast number of Common Core goals. Additionally, researchsuggests students in journalism classes also get better grades in high school, earn higher scores on the ACT and get better grades as college freshmen.

 

In addition to these positive academic outcomes, scholastic journalism programs led by qualified journalism educators foster responsible civic engagement, as students learn about their First Amendment rights and journalistic responsibility, and become engaged with their school, local, national and global communities. Student journalists with final say on their own content embrace their roles as democratic citizens who take ownership and are accountable for their decisions.

 

Administrators who support scholastic journalism programs are supporting a future with more engaged democratic citizens.

 

Resources:

Introductionand Civic engagement and journalism, Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism

The 2017 State of the First Amendment, Newseum

High School Journalism Matters, American Press Institute

Framework for 21st Century Learning, Partnership for 21st Century Learning

Civic Implications of Secondary School Journalism, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

Principals, presidents and getting along, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission

Teaching grit for citizenship — why we must empower, not shield students, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission

 

 

 

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