‘Making a Difference’ aims to bring credence to scholastic journalism

11 Jan

One of the biggest issues student journalists face when seeking acceptance as legitimate, independent news-gathers is their perceived lack of experience and talent. As such, they are all too frequently written-off by administrators, school boards and, sadly, even their own advisers at times as incompetent and incapable of crafting the serious reporting they need the very freedoms subsequently withheld from them to do. Of course, anyone who has explored the world of scholastic journalism even loosely knows this could not be more completely and utterly false.

Sadly, those in power to deny these freedoms rarely bother to explore this world. So we’re going to make it easier for them. 45words is supporting JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission (SPRC) “Making a Difference” project.

“Is there a story your student media outlet has published that has made a difference in your community?” SPRC member Jane Blystone writes in an open request to all scholastic publications for content. “The Journalism Eduction Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission is looking for such stories to share. We would like to hear your story and share it to encourage other student journalists. We want to show scholastic journalists can — and consistently do — develop stories which demonstrate professionalism, make a difference in the lives of peers, school and community and exemplify research, responsibility and courage. The Commission hopes this work can be an inspiration to students, advisers, parents, administrators, lawmakers and professional journalists.”

The 45words team is throwing its support behind this initiative, hoping the results of this project will yield a powerful example of the truly extraordinary work student journalists are capable of and eager to do. If you are part of a publication that has had the privilege of covering a story that has made a difference in your school or community, that serves as a testament to what we as student journalists can do, please consider submitting it so we can continue to spread good scholastic journalism. And if you’re a publication facing restraint, watch this project, and use it as a tool to make a case to your administration as to what you want to and are able to do if given the freedom you deserve.


More from the SPRC about the project:

We’re looking for student journalism in any of its forms — electronic media, newspapers, yearbooks, multimedia — from this year or previous years. The submission should reflect student-selected content of high journalistic quality that had an impact on the school or community.

Include with submission:

  • Statement about how this story made a difference
  • Electronic version of the story – can be PDF, JPG, PNG, MP3, M4V
  • Submit package for consideration to jane.blystone@gmail.com by March 1.
  • Include contact information for person submitting package.

If you have questions about the project, comment below or email Jane Blystone at jane.bylstone@gmail.com.

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