Computer keys clatter, brand new pages turn and cameras capture images from all walks of student life. From written web articles, magazine pages and yearbook spreads to photography in many formats, student journalism is always alive in high schools across the country. From the yearbook to the newspaper or magazine, young journalists work in all fields, bringing the media to their fellow students. Yet one week in particular celebrates the work of student journalists more than any other time of the year. Scholastic Journalism Week is February 20-24 and the journalism community is bustling with anticipation.
Scholastic Journalism Week is an entire week to celebrate the work of student journalists and remind everyone of their impact on their communities. PHS will be participating in this upcoming week like never before, from five days of festive posts on Publications' social media to accomplished speakers calling all students of the PHS community to appreciate the work of journalism in high school halls.
"It's important for students to understand the media and the importance of having their stories told by their fellow peers who see things the same that they do, as opposed to an adult who has a different perspective," said Publications Adviser Michelle Burress. "I think, as we promote the idea on both staffs that everybody has a story to tell, this is a good time to let students know that we want to tell their stories through our different publications."
The events and promotions involved in Scholastic Journalism Week are intended to show the community of Plainfield High School, both students and staff, the power that student journalists can hold and how important school publications are. Journalism may find itself overlooked in certain circles, yet these students are promoting their own place in a wider world of media for their schools and wider communities.
"Without journalism, where are you going to find out what's happening in the world – either your own individual world, or the world at large?" said Burress. "Hendricks County no longer has a daily paper. It's hard to find out what's going on – everything from garage sales to the parade route. Because Hendricks County doesn't have a daily paper or paper of any sort anymore, it's kind of hard to get the information; you have to go to a lot of different social media sites. We hope that people will check out our website so they can at least stay up-to-date on what is happening at PHS."
Publications play a vital role in the expression and awareness of high school students, and Scholastic Journalism Week will help to raise recognition of the contributions student journalists can make toward bettering the world, for students in the present and for a wider audience in the future.
Burress said, "It's good awareness to let students know that they do have a voice and that it can be heard and they can make a difference. Traditionally, journalists have had the jobs of being distributors of information and watchdogs to make sure that everything is transparent for the audience so they know what's happening. Journalism provides that service to individuals and groups so they can be aware of what's going on."
Story by Annika Christiansen