My student journalists are passionate about making their voices heard and reporting the truth for their community.
The school newspaper staff includes 35 students from a high-poverty school that is the most diverse in the state of Oregon (and the 23rd most diverse in the country).
We are proud that our staff reflects the diversity of our school, and this allows students to report on the issues that are most important to them and to their community. We are an inclusive staff; the only requirement for joining the staff is a desire to get involved. Students take photos, write stories, make videos, design the website and manage the social media angle, design pages, and help each other with every aspect of putting out the newspaper.
The night of the final layout for the school newspaper last spring, two of our ancient computers finally gave up the ghost. With only one computer left, my intrepid students still managed to put out their eight-page newspaper. Fortunately, the University of Oregon journalism school generously donated 35 lightly-used computers.
Now, we just need keyboards and mice to use our newly-donated computers!
These student journalists use technology to gain real-life job skills. The students are responsible for every aspect of putting out the paper, from pitching and writing stories, to taking photos and videos, to designing the layout of the newspaper, to selling and designing advertisements. Because our school isn't able to provide computers for the school newspaper, students were using three computers that were donated over six years ago by a local business. A new computer lab will mean that students can continue to publish their award-winning newspaper and their award-winning news website. Even for students who won't go on to study journalism, what they learn as a member of the newspaper helps them succeed in college and on the job. Studies show that students who are involved in journalism are far more likely to be successful in college, and journalism helps students to be good consumers of media and critical thinkers in a democracy.
With only a few computers, these students have won multiple awards for their newspaper. These amazing student journalists receive zero funding from the school. They raise their own printing funds through endless carwashes, can drives, raffles, etc. With keyboards and mice for their new computers, my students will continue to bring news to their community.
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