Articles about "High school journalism"

HRC Media Event

Journalist covered high school’s censorship of a coming-out story while ‘tears ran down my cheeks’

Lynn Tiley, center, and her son Taylor Ellis, center left, with Ellis' dad, Billy, right, outside the Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. (Mike Wintroath/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
I first heard of Taylor Ellis’ story while meandering through one of the news apps on my phone. I immediately clicked on the story and began reading about the Arkansas high school student and the decision by administrators at Sheridan High School to pull the profile written about his coming-out story from his junior yearbook. As a gay man who came out in high school, the story resonated with me. Nearly a week later, I was sent by my newspaper here in Little Rock, Ark., to photograph a press conference happening on the steps of the capitol building. Headed by Chad Griffin, the president of Human Rights Campaign, the press conference struck chords with me as Ellis and his mother spoke. She got choked up at the idea that, because of who he was, he was excluded from the yearbook. Ellis stroked her hair and Griffin gave her words of encouragement and she continued without her script. The whole time I took photographs, tears ran down my cheeks. When I was 15, a freshman in high school in Indiana, I decided to come out to my family and friends. I had a very supportive family and was mostly accepted in high school. I had friends who stood by me. There were some hard times as I walked the school hallways, not hiding who I was. But I had more good experiences than bad. Senior year, I got a message from a friend on Facebook. She also happened to be the yearbook editor. She asked me if I would be interviewed for a profile in the yearbook to talk about my coming-out experience and with being openly gay in high school. (more...)
Middle school students in the journalism workshop at Harrisonburg High School. (Photo by Valerie Kibler)

Va. high-school journalists teach middle schoolers that everyone has a story

Middle school students in the journalism workshop at Harrisonburg High School. (Photo by Valerie Kibler)
Audrey Knupp's first shot at journalism begins like this: "Knowing Megan Fitzwater ('Fitz'), you wouldn’t expect her to have a pink room. Her personality is much more tomboyish. Throughout her life, Fitz has won numerous awards for basketball and rowing and received offers to play basketball in college. Now she is a James Madison University student who coaches basketball at Thomas Harrison Middle School (THMS). And her room is still pink." The seventh-grader gets to the story behind that in the next paragraph. And she got to the story itself through a nine-week program at Harrisonburg High School, which brings middle schoolers into the Harrisonburg, Va., high school once a week to learn about journalism. (more...)
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Fenway Park

Through in-person training, inner-city teens learn what it takes to be sports reporters

Last summer, I walked into a computer lab in the bowels of The Boston Globe carrying a stack of photocopied worksheets from the High School Journalism Institute and eager to pass my sportswriting knowledge along to three inner-city students from … Read more

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Seattle School Board reverses proposed censorship policy
Soon after reports surfaced that the Seattle School Board was proposing a policy that would subject student journalists to censorship, the group reversed its position. KUOW's Phyllis Fletcher tells Poynter's Al Tompkins how beat reporting helped her break the story: have to find things that haven’t made anyone angry (yet). You’ll find things that are quirky, interesting, odd, or that demonstrate that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The more you bring these things to light, the more you and your audience learn, and the more you build credibility with tipsters — and with the body you cover. When you first start to cover a legislative body, it’s boring, intimidating, thankless, confusing, and all those things that cause you to question your life choices. Find a way to be amused by the tedium. Bring food. Get into it like you’re watching a movie. If your employer supports it, tweet or blog during the meetings. Notice the speech patterns and trivialities that drive you nuts. If you don’t understand something, ask about it. If people seem to be speaking in code, pay attention to that. Save all your tape. If you cover the same beat long enough, your old tape will be useful to you later.
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How Seattle journalist got school censorship scoop

Seattle area public schools will allow free speech and free press thanks to an alert journalist who spotted a hidden pending policy change.

This is a story about the value of good old-fashioned beat reporting that included pawing through boring-looking … Read more


Seattle School Board proposal allows principals ‘to pretty much censor at will’

Seattle Times
The proposed policy would give Seattle principals the authority to review high school papers before they're published and would allow them to stop publication if they deem material to be libelous, obscene or "not in keeping with the school's instructional mission and values," among other criteria, reports Brian M. Rosenthal. Kathy Schrier, executive director of the Washington Journalism Education Association, tells him that the proposal opens the door for administrators to pretty much censor at will. "It's just sort of, if you don't like the way something sounds or you think it's going to cause a phone call or something, then all of a sudden it doesn't keep with the values of the school" in the principal's judgment. The board will vote on the proposal Dec. 7. || Related from KUOW: "Stop the presses, let the principal check them first" || "The district's statement about why this is OK is classic doublespeak."

High school journalists kept Vargas’ secret for six weeks

Mountain View Patch
Jose Antonio Vargas met with the Mountain View High School newspaper staff on May 11, and told the 35 teen journalists, "I'm an undocumented immigrant." He told them that only a few people knew, and asked that they keep it secret for a while.

For the next six weeks not a murmur, whisper, tweet or status update suggested the teenagers guarded privileged information for Vargas, 30, a former Oracle editor-in-chief and a 2000 graduate of MVHS.

Kevin Troxell, a 17-year-old entertainment editor at the Oracle, says he saw the shock on Vargas' face after he told the teens that he was undocumented. "He seemed surprised to tell us. He kind of put his hand over his mouth as if to say 'what did I just say?' ...Oracle is a tight knit group and we are all friends. He's a friend and an Oracle, and that was the reason we wanted to keep his secret."
> Vargas's revelations may be a victory for immigration advocates, but not for journalism
> Los Altos High School student paper posts video of Vargas Q&A