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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The voices within the building

High school journalists play a vital role in communicating with the student body
Leah Pickhinke
Students in journalism work weekly to make their stories enjoyable and informative for everyone. “Journalism is something that is very important to me, as well as my peers,” senior Quinn Burton said. “I’ve actively been a part of Advanced Journalism and Yearbook everyday for the past two years and it’s been such a rewarding experience getting to use my voice in addition to sharing others voices through my stories. Throughout the years, I’ve consistently seen the amount of effort that my classmates put into their work, and it’s something that unfortunately goes unnoticed. Sometimes tackling a broadcast and news paper article each week can be a grueling task, but for most students in the Journalism program, it’s a weekly routine.”

Within many high schools, student journalism often goes unnoticed, yet its impact on students’ growth for society makes a significant contribution. Student journalism equips young minds with the tools to critically analyze information and distinguish fact from fiction. According to the Stanford History Education Group‘s study, over 80% of high school students couldn’t differentiate between real news and fake news. Journalism helps students by teaching them to question sources, verify information, and understand the implications of media bias.

Being an informed citizen in today’s day and age is crucial. A study by the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University found that students who participated in news literacy programs were more likely to engage with current events and feel confident in their ability to access and understand the news. Student journalism actively engages students in the news cycle, preparing them to become informed and engaged citizens.

Beyond reporting, student journalism cultivates essential life skills. The Poynter Institute’s research on youth journalism programs helps provide students with how to develop critical life skills, including teamwork, time management, leadership, and communication. These skills are transferable and benefit students in their academic, professional and personal lives.

Student journalism also provides a platform for young voices to be heard. Important topics relevant to students’ peers; such as school policies, mental health, news and diversity are able to have a light shined on them. These student-written stories not only raise awareness but also empower people to advocate for change within their schools and communities.

Research published in the Journal of Adolescent Research indicates that student journalism contributes to a sense of belonging in schools and in the community. It connects students, parents and educators through shared knowledge of what is going on and creates a sense of school pride, enhancing the overall educational experience.

Despite these benefits, student journalists face challenges, including budget constraints and censorship concerns. It is crucial that schools, parents and communities recognize the importance of supporting and protecting student journalism.

Journalism is much more than just a school activity; it’s a catalyst for personal growth, engagement, and community progress. Backed by research and expert opinions, it is clear that caring for student journalism in high schools is an investment in the future and something that should get more appreciation.

Capturing stories one seat at a time, student journalists fill room 311 every day to put in their time, effort and energy into making stories for the community. Whether it’s written, video, radio or yearbook, student journalists contribute a lot to making the school a more enjoyable and informed enviornment. (Leah Pickhinke)
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About the Contributor
Leah Pickhinke
Leah Pickhinke, Staff Reporter
Leah is a junior at Millard West and this is her second year on staff for the CATalyst. In Leah’s free time she enjoys going on walks, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. Other than journalism, her hobbies include drawing, gaming, watching movies, and taking pictures.

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