My students need resources to be empowered and equipped journalists. With technology that is not available at our school, like voice recorders and a camera, students can become powerful storytellers for their community.
The students in the newspaper club are passionate, driven, expressive, and creative. They understand the problems of mainstream media (the misrepresentation of communities of color, the lack of journalists of color, the harmful stereotypes media often perpetuates — the list goes on) and they believe that a student-produced newspaper can be reflective of students' voices. The students involved in this club range from grades 7-12 and show up every Monday afternoon (and to countless more events) to make Mastopics happen!
Mastopics is the first-ever student-produced newspaper at Mastery Charter School - Lenfest Campus. The students have already published their first issue, which featured stories ranging from student performances to recipes, to on-campus fundraisers. They have started this newspaper and published the first issue with very few resources. We use phones to take photos and scratch paper to take notes during interviews. With the right tools, these student-journalists can get one step further toward their goal of changing the way media so often misrepresents under-resourced communities and young people of color.
Access to new technology will empower my students to become passionate media makers.
The students can use the voice recorders to record interviews and play them back slowly to transcribe. They will use the camera to cover events and feature students in our community who do amazing things. This project not only directly benefits the students involved in the newspaper extracurricular activity, but also the students who are written about, or read the newspaper as well. My students want to change the narrative of mainstream media — and to work toward their goal they need the resources and technology to develop a strong community newspaper.
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