Pages Navigation Menu

Journalism Against the Odds

Share

by Cyndi Hyatt

Student Press Freedom Day is February 26. 

This year’s theme is Journalism Against the Odds – how fitting for the bulk of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.

Last March who could have predicted the unfolding of a global pandemic closing high schools and colleges, cutting students off from campuses and classrooms, classmates and school staffs.  Who would have predicted the shutdown of entertainment events, restaurants, sporting venues? 

These past 12 months have been challenging in every way for  students who want to cover community news in a predominantly virtual world.  

The first few months of the pandemic were messy and difficult for student-run journalism programs trying to figure out how to keep momentum and how to find and report the important stories,  how to battle administrations who wanted to curtail and limit their production in virtual and hybrid environments.

Student journalists, innovative and creative as ever, rose to the challenge producing newspapers, broadcasts, podcasts, news and literary magazines, yearbooks and social media adapted to the new normal.  

Subsequently, these past 12 months created a new kind of student journalist, one who canrise to challenges, overcome obstacles and adjust coverage. 

Against odds, they continued to report stories that mattered then and still matter now:  Covid-19 and its effect on their communities, local government elections, the 2020 Presidential election, the 2021 Capitol insurrection and systemic racism and social inequity.  

And many of these journalists stood up to barriers and attempted censorship challenging their freedoms and rights to cover protests, to criticize policies, to voice their opinions, to obtain public records, to record, report and tell the truth.

Despite the challenges, there is no better time to be a student journalist.  

February 26 celebrates the successes and innovative reporting produced in the last 12 months.  Embrace the First Amendment and its freedoms.  Stand up to censorship. Get excited about the stories that still need to be told.

February 26 celebrates the successes and innovative reporting produced in the last 12 months.  Embrace the First Amendment and its freedoms.  Stand up to censorship. Get excited about the stories that still need to be told.  

And don’t let the odds stand in your way.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.