History, politics, people of Oly WA

Why don’t they just start blogs? (student free speech)

This story is about the harrowing tale of student journalists in Pierce County bumping heads with school administrators over what to publish in the school paper.

I sort of had the same experience at my high school, but with a literary magazine, and not a newspaper. Instead of working in the system, I got together with my friends and with $20 and 90s home computer put together a 8 page literary magazine that we distributed around school for the better part of a year.

Today, I would have put up a Ning social network to allow any student to put up stories. I would email out links to everyone I know with an email address, and republish on facebook and myspace. I’d also pass out photocopies of articles for anyone who wants one.

By continuing to work through a school district funded publication, we’re teaching student journalists the exact wrong lesson for the media environment today. You don’t need someone else to let you or to pay you to be a reporter. You should just be one.


  1. Elaine

    Alas, working on the school newspaper (a) counts for credits and (b) looks good on a college application, neither of which are true (yet?!) of a group blog.

    And I too worked on a literary magazine in high school. Ah, early 90s computing. One of the other editors had a really nice computer at home, so we were able to lay it out in AmiPro, IIRC. 🙂

  2. Emmett

    And, that’s the best reason not to aim to do things that get you credit (or necessarily get you paid).

    Its ironic that the real learning happens sometimes when you’re not getting credit.

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