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NEwS FUND ADvISER UPDATE n who are we? The Dow Jones News Fund, a nonprofit foundation supported by the Dow Jones Foundation and other newspaper companies, encourages young people to consider journalism careers. n Adviser Update’s mission Adviser Update, a newsletter published by the Dow Jones News Fund for high school journalism teachers and publications advisers, is a free quarterly serving the inexperienced as well as the veteran. It will be the seminal free resource for these educators, a clearinghouse of practical, topical information. n Contacting the News Fund Mail: P.O. Box 300, Princeton, NJ 08543-0300 Phone: 609-452-2820 Fax: 609-520-5804 E-mail: djnf@dowjones.com n News Fund staff Linda Shockley, deputy director Diane Cohn, director of finance n Contacting Adviser Update Please address all news items to George Taylor, Adviser Update editor. Mail: 200 North Lehigh St., Tamaqua, PA 18252 Phone: 570-668-4451 E-mail: GTay200@verizon.net

Copyright © 2014 Dow Jones News Fund, Inc.

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Inside Editorial Leadership

Neshaminy students challenge tradition Page 2A

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ver see the State Farm commercial in which a young woman believes everything on the Internet is true, including that her dumpy date is a French model? That’s Mariel Booth, a model and actress living in Los Angeles who went to Northern HS in Calvert County, Maryland. This spread is one in a series created for the school’s 40th anniversary that looked at successful alumni in different careers. Aside from Booth, students contacted alumni in law enforcement, fire departments, the military and other professions to look at the impact Northern grads have had on their world.

Gary Clites, adviser

The Patriot Press Northern HS, Owings, Md. gclites@comcast.net

By tracy Marcello

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n 1988, an article about divorce and teenage pregnancy was censored from The Spectrum student newspaper at Hazelwood East HS in St. Louis, Mo. Twenty-five years later, student journalists still wonder: will my story be next? Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier stunted the freedom of young reporters by giving school principals the ability to review and restrain articles printed in school-sponsored publications. Though articles must meet one of five criteria to be subject to censorship (they can’t be libelous, for instance), some principals choose to review all content prior to publication. “I get angry about Hazelwood to this day,” First Amendment Center President and CEO Ken Paulson said. “I wish I could turn back the clock.” And while many principals exercise their right to review articles, most do not understand the implications of their actions.

“Young people who don’t have the right to freedom of the press don’t embark on their careers with robust appreciation [for their freedom],” Paulson said. Today, a generation of reporters will graduate high school without ever having practiced their right to free speech and press, creating a pool of applicants ill-prepared for careers in journalism. Freedom critical Joseph Russomanno is an associate professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Since his transition from the newsroom to the classroom in 1994, Russomanno has taught his students that the First Amendment is a critical component of good journalism. “If you are teaching high school students how to be journalists, lesson one is the free nature of it,” he said.

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n Update George Taylor, editor Kathleen Zwiebel, design Mary Kay Davis and Elsa Kerschner, production

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n web site services Information about the News Fund, its services and programs and selected articles from Adviser Update are available at the News Fund’s Web site: https://www.newsfund.org. twitter.com/djnf

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n Editorial reprints/permissions, subscriptions, back issues To be placed on the Adviser Update mailing list, to report a change of address, to order reprints of articles or to obtain permission to use any part of Adviser Update, contact Linda Shockley at the News Fund at 609452-2820 or linda.shockley@dowjones. com.

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n Article submissions, story ideas Adviser Update welcomes story ideas and articles from its readers. Some articles are reprints from other publications in the field of scholastic journalism. Original articles should be between 400 and 600 words in length and on topics of importance or interest to Update’s targeted audience. Articles can be sent to George Taylor via e-mail (word, RTF or text file). Color photos (high resolution jpegs) or PDF graphics are welcome. Authors must include a paragraph biography and a color mug shot. Copy and graphics can also be sent to the editor on CDs. writers are paid based on the depth of the article, accompanying artwork and placement in the publication. Please address all news items to: George Taylor, Adviser Update editor. Mail: 200 North Lehigh St., Tamaqua, PA 18252 Phone: 570-668-4451 E-mail: GTay200@verizon.net

Adviser Update is published by the Dow Jones News Fund and is provided free of charge. To be placed on the mailing list, to request information about DJNF or to correct this label, contact:

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Tracy Marcello, CJE,

has a degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University. She is the marketing and communication coordinator for Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo., and previously worked as adviser of two high school publications — both of which were subject to prior review and prior restraint. Her students and their publications have been recognized by FSPA, CHSPA, JEA and NSPA, most recently with a Pacemaker Finalist nomination. She can be reached at marcello.tracy@ gmail.com.

“Even when journalism is properly done, it’s going to ruffle some feathers,” he said. “That’s when journalism is done at its best.” Still, many principals don’t want to ruffle even one feather over a studentwritten story. In a survey conducted among 27 high school journalism advisers, 37 percent said that their principal either practiced prior review or prior restraint of the school’s publication. Annandale, Va. HS newspaper adviser Alan Weintraut vividly remembers the one instance in his 20-year teaching career when a principal confronted his staff, after they had written a story about an off-campus stabbing involving a student at the school. “He said, ‘From now on, I want to see the paper.’ And I said, ‘That’s not my policy and that’s not my students’ policy.’” Since then, Weintraut’s students have never been subject to prior review by an administrator, though he reads all of their stories before publication. “[Principals] can control the newspaper the day [they] go down to the sidelines and call plays,” he said.

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ditors of Neshaminy HS’s student newspaper, The Playwickian, can no longer ban the use of “Redskin” — the school’s mascot nickname — in editorials or letters to the editor. Neshaminy School Board members voted 8-1 June 26 on what the administration calls a compromise policy which allows student editors to remove the word from news stories, but not opinion pieces. Playwickian managing editor Jack Haines said he also objects to policy points that allow the principal to censor the paper for “any reasonable reason” and another that prevents the paper from endorsing a political candidate. “It essentially boils down to an administrator being able to censor for any reason he deems reasonable,” Haines said. Editors at the school located in Langhorn, Pa., voted last October to ban the use of the mascot’s name because they said “Redskin” is a racial slur and thus offensive to Native Americans. Following student editors’ ban of the controversial word, editorial boards of the Bucks County Courier Times and its sister papers, The Intelligencer and Burlington County Times, approved a similar policy. On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office voted to cancel the NFL’s Washington Redskins trademarks, considering them “disparaging to Native Americans.” When a student wrote an opinion piece disagreeing with the editors’ policy, the newspaper staff agreed to publish it, but would only run the offending word as “R_______,” just as their professional counterparts do with other racially charged words. “Astonishingly, that wasn’t good enough for the school administration, which suggested not using the full word violated the complaining student’s First Amendment rights,” writes Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center. “Does that mean all epithets are fair game? And what about a letter questioning the administration’s competence? Is that also a must-run?” In early June, students published their last edition of the school year without prior approval in a dispute over a letter written by the son of a school board member using the nickname. Instead of publishing the letter with the nickname as they were told to do by the principal, they printed an editor’s note explaining their position why they could not run the letter. The next week, the board introduced the revised policy and Principal Robert McGee told Playwickian adviser Tara Huber to change the passwords on the newspaper’s social media accounts and website. Instead, Huber decided to delete the Facebook and Twitter accounts, McGee said. Matt Schafer, the students’ attorney, said he thought the district violated the students’ First Amendment rights with the ultimatum, and also with a confiscation of a disputed number of the newspapers after they were printed. “Student editors are as free as other editors to report and editorialize the news,” he said. “We’re definitely not just going to sit back and let this happen,” co-editor-in-chief Gillian McGoldrick said after the meeting. “There are so many things that are wrong with this.” McGoldrick, Schafer and the other editors said they would have to discuss their next step now that the policy has passed. Ken Paulson’s commentary, “Young Americans have free-speech rights, too,” appears at www.firstamendmentcenter.org. Michael Macagnone of the Bucks County Courier Times (Pa.) did the original reporting on the school board vote. Content reprinted with his permission.

sion statement charges us with creating,” McHale said. “I believe there is nowhere else in the school where this happens.” Advisers like McHale continue to fight for the rights of their students in an effort to breed responsible, ethical and fact-seeking journalists — the

kind that aren’t afraid of the truth. And while some won’t go to the same lengths as McHale, most still promote controversial writing and all that it entails. Adviser’s role Arizona Daily Star editorial writer and

columnist Sarah Gassen emphasized the role of advisers during a presentation at the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University June 19. “What are we teaching them if we say, ‘Don’t ask tough questions because a grown-up’s feelings might get hurt’?” she asked the group of 35 middle and high school journalism teachers attending RJI. “Please tell them not to give up, because principals don’t have that control forever.” Gassen’s advice to students writing at a prior review school is to seek other outlets for controversial stories, including local newspapers and social media websites. “They are doing important things and they need to keep doing [them], even if [their story] doesn’t get published,” she said. SPLC help For students who continue to face challenges by administration, the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is willing to offer free advice and representation for cases involving censorship. Former SPLC staff attorney Mike Hiestand has provided legal assistance to nearly 15,000 high school and college student journalists and their advisers. His advice to advisers struggling with censorship is to allow the students to dictate how they want to proceed. “Have a talk with the students at the beginning of the year and tell them that they need to stand up and talk to the principal — it’s the student newspaper,” he said in a presentation at RJI June 21. “The adviser’s legal protection is not great when you’re sitting there fighting with administration.” And while Hiestand understands the anxieties of the administrators, he continues to assist student media and partake in special projects through SPLC to ensure students are getting the journalistic freedom they deserve. “There is such fear out there,” he said. “This media, for whatever reason, just scares the heck out of administrators.”

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Causing the right kind of trouble By Francisco Vara-orta

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ll I ever dreamed for when I wanted to become a journalist is to work at my hometown paper someday, writing about topics that I felt the community could benefit from knowing more about. The Dow Jones News Fund and Urban Journalism Workshop helped me first taste this dream by kickstarting my career, where, spoiler alert, my journey took 10 years to get back to that place in San Antonio. But I first reached for my dream thanks to this program, which ignited an inner fire to be a journalist. Programs like these are needed more than ever as it’s harder to get printed in the newspaper world as the old model is changing, budgets are shrinking for development and recruiting programs, and diversity isn’t always high on all hiring managers’ list of priorities. I was blessed to realize that I had an interest in journalism in my pre-teen years. My sister had been in the Urban Journalism Workshop when she was in high school and also worked on her school newspaper, and I looked up to her. We both attended Catholic schools where, despite it being a private school, money was tight. So when I ran for student council, surprisingly won against the popular jock as I was a bookish nerd, and realized I couldn’t actually fund fixing the drinking water fountains as I promised on the campaign, I had to come up with a Plan B. “Let’s start a newspaper.” Mind you, it was a humble, scrappy production made in Microsoft Word, but it got the students engaged and that made me see how a bunch of inner-city kids could get together and do something fun and meaningful where we felt like we had a voice. I still think that’s what journalism can do for

Scholastic Profile

any group of people. But it was the summer when I turned 17, about to start my senior year in high school, that the DJNF’s Urban Journalism Workshop changed my life. My mother, a gift shop cashier who could have been an assignment editor in her own right, suggested kids were getting bombarded with too much advertising. I took mental inventory and noticed the trend. I pitched the story and was assigned it. I had to interview top officials for the first time outside my school. Someone hung up on me for the first time and another gave me my first “no comment.” I got kicked out of a sports camp for our local NBA team because they knew I was going to ask about corporate sponsors and if kids there in the camp had a reaction to the advertising. No smoking signs oriented to kids were faded, corporate food brand logos were emblazoned vibrantly everywhere. I ended up getting to work with top-notch reporters and editors from

my local paper, all of whom are still doing amazing things and are beside me today. They taught me the right way to cause the right kind of trouble, and that was energizing for this meek Catholic schoolboy who had little inner confidence then and was scared to ruffle any feathers. I ended up getting the lead story for the workshop’s single newspaper, printed in the San Antonio ExpressNews, my hometown’s major daily. The city’s second largest paper hired me as a reporter instead of the paperboy job I applied for based on my article in the workshop. I also won the workshop’s top prize, a $1,000 scholarship to any college. I am the first to go to college in my family and it helped fund attending a four-year private university, St. Mary’s University, where I helped re-start its student newspaper, The Rattler. And at UJW, I met my best friend, Denise, who started the college newspaper with me and has been a rock in my life ever since then. Looking back, the whole UJW experience was a microcosm of the beauty of what I think journalism

represents. We won over 125 awards during the four years I was editor of the college paper, and I landed internships at the Laredo Morning Times and Austin American-Statesman. I also worked two years at the Los Angeles Times as a reporter, two years as a business reporter at two publications in Los Angeles and Austin and then returned home in 2011 to write about education for the Express-News. There were bumps, and sleepless nights where I wondered if I was doing the right thing by devoting myself to journalism, but I have seen many achieve balance in their lives as a journalist and bounce back from layoffs (as I did at the L.A. Times). So I just follow those inspiring examples. I’m always learning. But I do know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Urban Journalism Workshop and the Dow Jones News Fund. It was truly my big break and will be for many students who believe in journalism. Keep on keepin’ on.

Francisco Vara-Orta

is an education reporter for the San Antonio ExpressNews. A native of San Antonio and graduate of St. Mary’s University, he has worked for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Business Journal, Austin Business Journal and La Prensa de San Antonio. His work has also appeared in the Austin AmericanStatesman, Houston Chronicle and Laredo Morning Times. He serves as president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists, serves on the Education Writers Association’s Journalist Advisory Board and is a 2013 Society of Professional Journalists’ Diversity Fellow. He can be reached by phone at 210250-3247 or via email at fvaraorta@express-news. net.

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No obligation And though this rule may make sense to advisers, many administrators still argue that they are obligated under Hazelwood to read and censor articles. In fact, Hazelwood does not require prior review by principals; it only allows it.) Most recently, Hunterdon (N.J.) Central Regional HS adviser Tom McHale resigned after 10 years of advising the student newspaper The Lamp, as soon as his principal began practicing prior review. “Prior review removes the responsibility from student journalists and puts it into the hands of the administration,” McHale said in an article published for the Student Press Law Center on June 7. “While some may see this as protecting students, in reality, it keeps students from practicing to become the ethical citizens the school’s mis-

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KEMPA

Spring: Judges evaluated nearly 20 applications for scholarships to graduating seniors from Kettle Moraine Press Association publications. Four winners will each receive $500 toward their first year at college. The winners are Gabrielle Abesamis, Niles West (Ill.) HS; Michala Meyerhofer, Fort Atkinson (Wis.) HS; Joseph Salvato, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) HS; and Kimberly Wethal, Stoughton (Wis.) HS. Summer: Summer Journalism Workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater featured Joe Koshollek teaching photojournalism; April van Buren, yearbook; Carolyn Wagner, student media leadership; Patrick Johnson, publication design; Mike Doyle, writing and reporting; Emily Cody, literary magazine; Evelyn Lauer, digital and social journalism; and Linda Barrington, student media advisers. Fall: Fall Journalism Conference will be Oct. 17 at UW-Whitewater. More than 1,000 students and advisers attend this yearly event where they can choose from dozens of presentations at each of three time slots. Publication critiques and awards are handed out first thing in the morning. Sandy Jacoby is the long-time director of this event. KEMPA also holds its annual meeting at the luncheon where board members will be elected for next year.

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The Long Weekend

THE LONG WEEKEND — Seventy-five middle and high school students from 10 states joined the Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s The Long Weekend summer camp June 13-15 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The camp is designed to teach creative and efficient ways to

Florida Honorees

communicate through scholastic newspapers, newsmagazines, yearbooks, literary magazines, broadcast programs and electronic media. It allowed students to enjoy a taste of college life and invigorate their interest in scholastic media. Update photo courtesy of Meredith Cummings

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FLORIDA HONOREES — When the Florida Scholastic Press Association handed out awards at its April convention, one school district was especially pleased with the results. FSPA’s top awards all went to Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa. From left: Student Journalist of the year runner-up Liz Tsourakis of Hillsborough HS; Student Journalist of the Year William Harvey of King HS (adviser Christine Munoz); Journalism Teacher of the Year Joe Humphrey of Hillsborough HS; Emerging Young Journalist Isabel Hanewicz of Robinson HS (adviser Jill Burns). Update photo courtesy of Joe Humphrey

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The New England Scholastic Press Association will sponsor three main events in the coming year: • a fall workshop on essentials of news, feature and sports writing Oct. 24[ • a special fall contest on localizing with a deadline set for Jan. 9, 2015; and • its 67th annual conference May 1, 2015. The fall workshop and the annual conference will both be at Boston University’s College of Communication. At this past spring’s conference May 2, 46 sessions were on the program. The keynote speaker was John Tlumacki, the Boston Globe photojournalist whose pictures of last year’s Marathon are known around the world. Among other session topics were online coverage, news writing, investigative reporting, editorials and columns, sports writing, design, advertising sales, and how to develop literary magazines. Speakers included College of Communication faculty, journalism professionals, and high school advisers and staff members.

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Neshaminy adviser named PSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year T

ara Huber, veteran student publication adviser at Neshaminy HS in Langhorne, Pa., has been named Journalism Teacher of the Year 2014-2015 by the Pa. School Press Tara Huber Association. In recent months the Neshaminy HS student newspaper, The Playwickian, has made state and national news by refusing to compromise on its state-protected right to determine its own publications policy, despite Neshaminy officials and members of the community calling for acquiescence to their demands. Since last October, the editors of The Playwickian have been battling with administrators about whether they

can ban the word “Redskin,” the school mascot, from the paper. Members of The Playwickian’s editorial board voted 14-7 that Redskin was a racial slur and they would not print it. A month later, Principal Rob McGee ordered the ban overturned, saying the editors might violate the First Amendment rights of others by removing the word from their copy. The student journalists subsequently said they would not adhere to McGee’s directive and a law firm jumped into the fray to represent them. The students aren’t the only ones expressing disapproval of the word “Redskins” as a team mascot. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the trademark of the Washington Redskins football team recently, saying the word was a racial

slur. Huber was lauded by PSPA for her courage to support her publications staff throughout the year in the face of overwhelming pressure. Fellow Neshaminy English teacher Dennis Howie, in nominating Huber for the award, said that such support was “hardly new for Tara, for she championed the students’ First Amendment rights during her long tenure as adviser to The Playwickian.” Huber is completing her 14th year as adviser. Dr. Jane Blystone, professor at Mercyhurst University and longtime Pennsylvania student journalism expert, in her nomination of Huber, said, “Tara is a leader in our state for quality student publications. She supports her students insisting

on their First Amendment rights. Great advisers stand up under the duress of challenge as Tara has. We are honored to know her, and we support her work in promoting quality journalism in Pennsylvania.” Robert Hankes, PSPA president, called her “a patriot for student expression and the Pa. School Code – a hero among us.” Huber has influenced every aspect of English instruction over the past decade at Neshaminy, everything from working on numerous committees to teaching summer school. She’s also spent the past 10 years teaching English part-time at Today Inc., a substance abuse program She holds a master’s degree in education from Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Lehigh University. Huber will be formally recognized by PSPA at its Student Journalism Competition Oct. 15, 2014, at Temple University.

Remembering ...

James Tidwell: ‘We were a part of his family’ By Stan Zoller

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llinois journalism has lost an iconic friend. Not just collegiate journalism. The entire journalism community as a whole. James Tidwell, chairman of the James Tidwell Department of Journalism at Eastern Illinois and former executive director of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (IJEA), died April 12 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 65. “James worked with high school journalism from his earliest years as a professional, but the fact is that his love of high school journalism started with his experiences as a high school journalist in Oklahoma,” said Sally Renaud, IJEA executive director and professor of Journalism at EIU. Tidwell joined EIU in 1987, becoming department chair in 2005. Prior to joining EIU, he taught journalism at Indiana University Southeast from 1978-87 and at Tulsa (Okla.) Junior College from 1973-78. From 1969-73 he was a reporter and editor for several daily newspapers in Oklahoma. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in journalism and government from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Tidwell held a juris doctor degree from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. “He always talked fondly of his own high school adviser and her tremendous

influence on his career, which included work on his campus newspaper and for professional newspapers,” Renaud said. “He has used his respect for his adviser and the passion she helped instill in him at an early age as motivating forces in his career in regards to high school journalism.” Tidwell was executive secretary of the Illinois Journalism Education Association from 1989-2005 when he stepped down because of his additional duties as department chair. “He always made those of us who had the privilege of serving on the IJEA board feel as though we were a part of his family,” said IJEA President Sarah Doerner. “It will be difficult to imagine IJEA without him.” The IJEA has renamed its annual Educator of the Year in Tidwell’s honor as the “Dr. James Tidwell IJEA Educator of the Year” Award. “James was often called upon to offer his expertise and advice in such areas as prior review, copyright and libel. I often heard him on the phone with high school advisers who sought his counsel, who asked his advice on a concern or problem in their school,” Renaud said. Longtime journalism educator and IJEA Board member Randy Swikle said “In the mid-1990s, no one worked harder on state legislation defining scholastic press rights in Illinois than James.” “I know,” Swikle said, “because I was at his side as he lobbied from office to office in the Capitol building. Hundreds of hours were spent devising strategy and campaigning for HB 156. At day’s end, the House passed the legislation 109-4, and the Senate approved 57-0. Unfortunately, the governor unexpectedly vetoed the bill.” Swikle calls Tidwell “a First Amendment expert” whose book “Press Law in Illinois” is considered a standard reference for professional journalists. Tidwell is survived by his wife, Muriel Everton, also a professor at Eastern, whom he married in 1991; his father, Ray Tidwell, and his stepmother, Bette Chasteen Tidwell, Moore, Okla.; his sister, Phyllis Foree and brother-in-law Roger Foree, Pasadena, Texas.

ost your state, regional or P national association’s activities in Adviser Roundup by dropping editor George Taylor (GTay200@ verizon.net) a line with your information. Photos with captions from events are welcome. Next deadline is Sept. 1.

CORRECTION

In our spring issue we incorrectly identified the Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism as the Oklahoma Institute for Journalism Diversity. Our thanks to Bill Elsen for gently pointing out our error.

CSPA

TEACHER TALK — Journalism teaching was the topic of discussion among Jim Streisel, 2013 DJNF National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, Nick Ferentinos, 1994 Teacher of the Year, and Helen Smith, director of the New England Scholastic Press Association. The trio had all been speakers at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s 90th Spring Convention and gathered for a reception March 20 at the nearby home of Robert and Carol Greenman. Update photo by Logan Aimone

similar circumstances. Judges are experienced journalists and educators familiar with the context surrounding student journalism as produced in schools and colleges. In recent years, more than 15,000 entries have been submitted for this annual competition and about 1,200 awards were given in the various categories. Gold Circle Awards were first given in 1984, following a long tradition of CSPA awards for individual achievement by student journalists.

FLORIDA

The University of Florida’s Summer Journalism Institute doubled in enrollment this summer. More than 200 students from throughout the country (and one from Japan) gathered in Gainesville for a week of learning about multimedia journalism, social media, law, storytelling and much more. UF’s Steve Johnson served as director of the Institute. FSPA honored Wayne Garcia and Wendy Wallace with its Gold Medallion award for service to the organization. Garcia is FSPA’s executive director and an instructor at the University of South Florida. Wallace directs Poynter’s high school journalism outreach efforts.

ILLINOIS

Mike Doyle of Belvidere North HS received the James A. Tidwell Award for high school advising at a breakfast May 2 at Eastern Illinois University. Principals Marc Eckmann of Belvidere North and Michele Sinclair of Mattoon were named Administrators of the Year.

The All-State Journalism Team Luncheon was held June 7 at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, with keynote speaker Dann Gire, film critic and an Illinois and JEA Friend of Scholastic Journalism as the keynote speaker. The team was Gabrielle Abesamis, Niles West HS, adviser Evelyn Lauer; Holly Baldacci, Huntley HS, adviser Dennis Brown; Nick Boose, Kaneland HS, adviser Kimberly Reese; Michael Glick, University-Chicago HS, adviser Wayne Brasler; Nabi Dressler, Prospect HS, adviser Jason Block; Sarah Foster, Mattoon HS, adviser Amanda Bright; McKensie Harrison, Cisne HS, adviser Trudy Hurd; Jessica Lynk, John Hersey HS, adviser Janet Levin; Rachel Mueller, Okawville HS, adviser Dana Donovan; Walker Post, Lane Tech HS, adviser Seth Johnson; Kelly Reilley, Belvidere North HS, adviser Mike Doyle; and Katarina Weber, Elk Grove HS, adviser Alissa Prendergast. Also Walker Post and Sarah Foster were honored as Illinois Journalist of the Year and Runner Up respectively. Barry Locher, director of the Illinois Press Foundation, hosted the event, which was sponsored by the Illinois Journalism Education Association, Sarah Doerner DuQuin, president.

JEA

JEA is seeking applicants for the second phase of its ongoing curriculum initiative, which involves leading a national journalism professional learning community and maintaining full-fledged curriculum materials. If you are interested in applying for a curriculum leader position, more information and the leader leader application are available at jea.

org. JEA has made changes to the application deadlines for those seeking Certified Journalism Educator or Master Journalism Educator status. Those wanting to take the test or be recognized at the fall convention must have the application submitted by Sept. 1. Those wanting to take the test or be recognized at the spring convention must have the application submitted by Feb. 1. If a test is to be given at a site other than a convention, the applications must be in eight weeks prior to the test date. The JEA Write-offs team is seeking volunteers to help judge and critique design contests ahead of the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-9. Critiques are completed online over the two-week period prior to the convention. Judges are not required to attend the convention. Questions can be directed to Writeoffs chair Nancy Smith, (nysmithjea@gmail. com) to volunteer. Nominations are being accepted for the annual JEA fall awards: Administrator of the Year, Carl Towley Award, Friend of Scholastic Journalism, Lifetime Achievement Award and Medal of Merit. In addition, middle school students at least 13 years old may apply for the Aspiring Young Journalist Award, and college upperclassmen and graduate students may apply for Future Teacher Scholarships. New application forms have been posted online at jea.org. All award nominations are to be submitted digitally.

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“James was a truly exceptional person — knowledgeable, bright, savvy, always saw the big picture. Always kind to people; I’d watch people come up to him at conferences to introduce themselves and he would give each and every person full attention. To say he was charming is putting it mildly; he had charm and style to spare. I am so happy the Educator award is being named in his honor.” Wayne Brasler “We lost a dear friend who taught us all so much — and that will be his invaluable legacy.” Candace Perkins Bowen “Not only has the journalism world lost a friend and supporter, but the world has lost a true gentleman. I have always been proud to say that James was my friend, colleague and mentor.” Tom Winski “He led us as we tried to establish a freedom of expression law for high school students in Illinois. He inspired us … always. We shall miss him, but we know we are better for having had him in our lives.” Susan Tantillo

Teacher Talk

ROUNDUP SUMMER 2014

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association has several key deadlines coming up for both the fall conference and the Gold Circle Awards. The 2104 Conference will take place on Monday, Nov. 3, at Columbia University’s historic Morningside Heights campus in Manhattan. Sessions will cover all aspects of student publishing. Advisers are welcome to attend sessions with students. In addition, some sessions will be organized for advisers only. The program is rich and varied with experienced advisers and journalists serving as session leaders. Session topics will include writing and editing, staff organization and motivation, design and layout, suggestions for special areas of coverage, and legal and ethical concerns for advisers and editors. The officers of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association (CSPAA) will consult with faculty advisers about specific concerns and problems regarding the publication of newspapers, magazines and yearbooks. Registration forms and payment information are available at http://cspa.columbia.edu. The deadline for advance registration is by Oct. 24. The CSPA Gold Circle Awards are offered to recognize superior work by student journalists usually as individuals but sometimes as an entire staff working with either print or online media. The deadline for Yearbooks and Digital Media is Oct.10, 2014. Eligibility for these categories is Nov. 2, 2013 through Oct.10, 2014. Your publication must have a CSPA membership to enter the Gold Circle Awards. There are 204 different categories to enter. Award certificates are sent to all winners. Secondary schools are judged separately from colleges and universities so that each student’s work is evaluated against others produced in

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SUMMER 2014

ADVISER UPDATE


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Adviser UpdAte

Print’s ‘recovery’ too strong a word

Editorial leaders = empowered students black

By StaRR SackStein

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my own articles, I am responsible for editing my peer’s writing to make them ready for publication,” said Sarah Bianchi, feature editor. “I’ve developed a lot of skills through [newspaper] such as how to become a leader and someone who can speak more easily in front of others. “I teach myself while teaching others by editing my peer’s writing. This job has helped me to learn my mistakes while correcting others which helped my grammar and my writing develop. “I read through their drafts and leave them comments suggesting ways to better the article. I also conference

with some students who need more help. The paper has taught me a new level of dedication and responsibility.” Learning these skills is sometimes tough for adolescents because they don’t want to deal with the conflicts that hierarchies among peers inherently create. They need to develop their own voice and balance positive and negative feedback all while being their staff’s cheerleader. It takes tenacity and patience for the adviser who needs to know when to step back and empower the students more. What advice can we give these

By RichaRd J. Levine

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efore becoming president of the Pew Research Center in 2013, Alan Murray spent 29 years at The Wall Street Journal in a wide range of positions, including Washington bureau chief, deputy managing editor and executive editor. He knows journalism, print and digital, from the inside. To help promote the publication of Pew’s highly regarded annual report on the State of the News Media report, Murray wrote an op-ed piece for the Journal proclaiming the 2014 report contained ”some signs of hope for the news business.” Murray’s conclusion and the fact-filled report have generated intensive discussion and analysis after years of gloomy Pew pronouncements on the decline of the news business in the digital age. Green shoots “‘Recovery’ would be too strong a word for the evidence here,” Murray wrote. “But green shoots are pushing through the permafrost.” Some of the “shoots” he cited are significant hiring for digital newsrooms; sizable investment in legacy media and digital startups by such wealthy businessmen as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, new owner of the Washington Post, and John Henry, purchaser of the Boston Globe; the growing use of mobile devices that is spurring online news consumption; and revenue generation by paywalls for traditional print publishers’ online products. The 11th edition of the Pew report

WATCHDOG

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Best defense Hiestand said, though, that there are ways to avoid becoming a prior review school.

President’s Perspective

put it this way: “A year ago, the State of the News Media report struck a somber note, citing evidence of continued declines in the mainstream media that were impacting both content and audience satisfaction. Many of these issues still exist, some have deepened and new ones have emerged. “Still, the level of new activity this year is creating a perception that something important, perhaps even game-changing, is going on. If the developments in 2013 are only a drop in the bucket, it feels like a heavier drop than most. The momentum behind them is real, if the full impact on citizens and our news system remains unclear.” Job growth The reason for this carefully hedged optimism is apparent in the section on “The Growth in Digital Reporting,” which attempts to size the news staffs of digital organizations. Using interviews and multiple data bases, it estimates that of 468 digital newsrooms — 30 major ones and 438 smaller ones, most started in the past decade — “have produced almost 5,000 full-time editorial jobs.” Among the largest: the Huffington Post with 575 editorial positions, Politico with 186 and BuzzFeed with 170. However, this upbeat math is followed by a concession that “purely in terms of bodies, the growth in new digital full-time journalism jobs seems

to have compensated for only a modest percentage of the lost legacy jobs in newspaper newsrooms alone in the past decade.” According to the American Society of News Editors, the brutal fact is that newspapers in the United States shed 16,200 full-time newsroom jobs from 2003 to 2012, a 30 percent decline to 38,000. And, as journalists know well, the cutbacks continue as newspaper advertising revenue, down more than 50 percent since the record $49 billion in 2005, keeps shrinking, and publishers keep seeking cost reductions. Less optimism Looking at these and other numbers in the Pew report, news consultant Alan Mutter commented on his website, Reflections of a Newsosaur: “Excuse me for not cheering the renaissance of journalism in the digital era, which I would be pleased to toast if there were one. But the reality is that the businesses that historically have funded local journalism are cutting coverage at the same time that most of the hundreds of new digital entrants are struggling to achieve financial sustainability.” He continues: “While the digital revolution has created unprecedented capabilities for everyone to publish and promote content (which may or may not qualify as journalism), we are a long way from the point that the newcomers are strong enough to

replace the traditional media whose businesses are being challenged by said revolution. So, the State of the News at the moment is, at the very least shaky. If not a little scary.” Obviously, such fears won’t begin to ease for some until there is hard evidence the news business’ decadelong search for new business models to replace print advertising is meeting with success. Other views Yet the optimism these days about the news business and journalism quality isn’t limited to Pew. Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp, which publishes more than 100 newspapers, says print media will play a “crucial role” in the company publishing strategy for many years to come. “We are proud of the print provenance not because we wish to pay homage to the past but because we believe print will have an absolutely crucial role in a multi-platform future,” he said in a speech in Australia. Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist who founded Netscape, goes further. “I am more bullish about the future of the news industry over the next 20 years than almost anyone I know,” he says in an essay on “the future of the news business” published a month before the Pew report. “You are going to see it grow 10X to 100X from where it is today.” “Maybe we are entering into a new golden age of journalism, and we just haven’t recognized it yet.” Another green shoot.

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Richard J. Levine

is president of the board of directors of the Dow Jones News Fund, Inc. Over six decades with Dow Jones & Co., he has served as vice president for news and staff development, executive editor of Dow Jones Newswires, vice president of information services, editorial director of electronic publishing and Washington correspondent and columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He can be reached at richard.levine@ dowjones.com.

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currently works at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, N.Y., as a high school English and journalism teacher and author of “Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective.” This year she begins a new blog with Education Week Teacher called “Work in Progress” in addition to her personal blog, StarrSackstein. com, where she discusses all aspects of being a teacher. Sackstein co-moderates #jerdchat and #sunchat as well as contributes to #NYedChat. This year she has made the Bammy Awards finals for Secondary High School Educator. In speaking engagements, Sackstein speaks about blogging, journalism education and BYOD, helping people see technology doesn’t have to be feared. She can be reached at mssackstein@ yahoo.com.

he metaphorical dust is blowing around the pub lab as my students prepare for the next issue of our school paper to be completed. A frenzy of nervous excitement whirls around while the frightful hushed word, “deadline” is looming. Layout is busy with section leaders breathing over their shoulders and our chief paces with a notebook and exasperated expression. Developing leadership skills in these students is one of the biggest challenges of being adviser, but when selecting editorial staff, there are usually students who stand out. Whether a paper has a committee selection or an interview process in place, applicants generally possess common qualities: they are dedicated, organized, perfectionists who quietly crave the spotlight. It then becomes our obligation to take these already motivated students and turn them into peer leaders and role models. Jessica Destefano, yearbook adviser at World Journalism Preparatory School (WJPS) in Flushing, N.Y., said, “I would say student leaders in yearbook are selfmotivated, creative, responsible and work well with others. Publications help students to forge ahead in the learning process without waiting for instruction; they reward creativity, innovation and attention to detail with a product that puts the “fruit” of these qualities on display for all to see. Publications have empowered my students to envision a larger audience for their work, as opposed to an audience of one — me.” Understanding the innate public nature of publication classes forces students to know that their work does have an audience and judgment is imminent. Student leaders must delicately work with staff about their writing in a way staff will respond and also juggle their assorted responsibilities of being a high school student. “As feature editor, along with writing

ambitious folks to save themselves from the stresses of deadlines and adolescent life? How can we continue to empower them and experience success? How can we teach them that what they want to take on is too much? When is it okay to say no for the benefit of the team? Candace Bowen, assistant professor at Kent State University, teaches a “Theory of Rotational Neglect.” “You can pretty much understand how it works just from the name,” she said, “but I tell them they each have so many responsibilities and obligations that sometimes they just simply can’t get everything done. The AP history research paper is due Monday, sectionals for volleyball are this weekend, your center spread feature deadline is tomorrow … and Mom says your room needs to be cleaned. So, it’s really a matter of prioritizing and putting off something that ISN’T as important as some others. Convince Mom you’ll clean the room first thing Monday night and then stick to it.” The most amazing aspect of editors’ lives is that they are so resilient. News editor Livianette Cabrera said, “I’m more patient now; I’m able to compromise and see other people’s perspectives instead of just my own. I cope with the stress by laughing it off and understanding that not everyone has the same passions as me, and I have to make the best of those circumstances.” Running a successful scholastic paper requires an adviser to let go of her own need to control and make things perfect while allowing student leaders to do their work. If we select our leaders well, then it can be a more rewarding experience for everyone and the benefits to the student are limitless. The swell of pride we all feel when a publication goes before an audience should reflect the work of the team and not just the adviser.

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Adviser UpdAte

“The best defense against censorship is just practicing good journalism,” he said. “Students need to ask themselves, ‘Is this a story that needs to be told? And in telling it, are we doing it in the best possible way?’” Russomanno agreed with Hies-

tand, saying that once students prove that they can write responsibly, most principals will forgo prior review and let the newspaper staff make final decisions — the way a true newsroom is operated. “Try to ensure them that students are practicing quality

journalism, with your guidance,” he said. For more information on censorship and the rights of student journalists, visit splc.org.


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SUMMER 2014

ADVISER UPDATE

Creating an

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BY JIM STREISEL

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Jim Streisel,

the 2013 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, is the adviser of the Carmel (IN) HS HiLite newspaper and its website, www.hilite.org. Streisel has written two journalism textbooks, “High School Journalism: A Practical Guide” and “Scholastic Web Journalism: Connecting with Readers in a Digital World.” You can reach him at jstreise@ccs.k12. in.us.

ver the past year, several journalism educators have asked me how to create a good working classroom “culture.” In other words, how can they create an atmosphere where their students are intrinsically motivated to do well, to care about the final product, to want to do their very best without worrying about grades? Just recently, I read Daniel Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us,” and I think I now have a response. Pink indicates that research into intrinsic motivation is relatively new. In fact, most companies still work under the old “carrot and stick” policy of extrinsic motivation, trying to pry work from their employees by either offering them incentives or by punishing them for failure to meet standards. But, according to the new research, carrots and sticks have several unintended consequences including extinguishing intrinsic motivation, diminishing performance and crushing creativity. What employees require in terms of extrinsic motivators are really just “baseline rewards.” Whether those rewards are money or grades, they simply need to be adequate and equitable; once you pass that threshold, carrots and sticks don’t work anymore.

In the classroom In the journalism classroom, this means in order to create an atmosphere conducive to intrinsic motivation, we first need to provide our students with fair and equitable treatment. We need to find a way to assess our students without making them terrified of receiving a bad grade. So the first step is creating a grading system in your classroom that basically gets the grades out of the way. That’s not to say students shouldn’t be accountable for their work; rather, it means students who meet the standards should feel as if the grade they earn is fair. The grade is simply a

Teacher

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byproduct of good work. Suffice it to say, taking grades off the table is the first step to fostering a more intrinsically motivated classroom. Then, according to Pink, once you have that baseline, there are three “nutrients” essential to “Type I” (intrinsically motivated) behavior: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy: Acting with choice It’s important to allow the students in your classroom to have a certain level of personal choice when it comes to their day-to-day activities. Whether that means selecting their own stories or choosing to spend the class period developing a new skill, students need to feel like they have control over their education. According to recent behavioral science studies, autonomous motivation “promotes greater conceptual understanding, better grades, enhanced persistence at school … higher productivity, less burnout and greater levels of psychological well-being” (Pink). Interestingly, this idea runs counter to the concept of “student engagement” that my colleagues and I looked at this year in our professional learning community (PLC). We spent the entire year trying to find ways to get our students fully “engaged” in our classrooms (i.e. looking busy), when our students were probably fully engaged all along. This new concept of autonomy will certainly create an interesting conversation next year. Mastery that matters Goal-setting is extremely important in any work environment. However, it’s vital to know the difference between “performance” goals (i.e.

getting an A in French class) and “learning” goals (i.e. being able to speak French). We need to have our students create long-term learning goals that will help them attain mastery. But mastery is difficult; complete mastery is impossible. It means working and working for days, weeks or years, often with little to show for your effort. But, according to Pink, the grueling work of attaining mastery is the goal. He writes, “Effort is one of those things MOTIVATE — Individual interaction is an important comthat gives meaning to ponent of Carmel (Ind.) HS adviser Jim Streisel’s teaching life. Effort means you methods. Here, Streisel works with reporter Shakeel Zia care about something, while other newspaper students work on a variety of differthat something is iment projects. Update photo by Kyle Crawford portant to you and you are willing to work for it.” describe the publication in terms of “they,” then they don’t; if they use the Purpose provides context pronoun “we,” you’re in pretty good When students who are autonomous shape. and work toward mastery get together in the service of something greater No silver bullet than themselves (i.e. their publicaAnd there you have it. A few pretty tions, websites, etc.), they can achieve general ideas to help promote an even more. It’s important to get your intrinsically motivated journalism staff. students to “buy in” to what they’re Clearly, this column doesn’t provide doing. you with the silver bullet to fix all of What greater cause, then, than a your problems, but I hope it gives you public forum where they can exercise some new ideas to explore. their First Amendment rights to free I always continue to tweak my prospeech, where they can inform, edugram — as my principal likes to say, cate and entertain their audience and “If you don’t strive to get better, you’re provide them with an invaluable piece going to get worse” — and these ideas of information? will certainly help me to continue to Do your students already have a get better in the months and years sense of purpose? Ask them. If they ahead.

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Tales & Traditions of the Press T

‘I’d rather be respected for being fair’

Footnotes by Anne Whitt

rying to impress family and friends, young Helen Thomas sang heartedly with the piano. A friend asked whether Helen aspired to a career in singing. “Absolutely not,” she said. “I’m going to be a newspaper reporter, and a great one.” Forty years later, President Clinton said at a White House Correspondents dinner, “Helen Thomas is not just the longest serving correspondent in the White House … She’s still the hardest working. By my calculations she’s had about ten thousand mornings, been through thousands of notebooks, thousands of ballpoint pens, thousands of cups of coffee … but it never has compromised her yet.” In 1997 she was the first “Journalist of the Day” at the dedication of the Newseum. The White House reporter through eight presidential administrations said, “The presidency awes me, but not the presidents … As for reporters, we hold a trust to seek the truth and to keep faith with the people’s right to know. In so doing, we must let the chips fall where they may … Only in a democracy are reporters allowed to interrogate their leaders … it falls to the reporter to hold government officials accountable and to explain their actions and their policies.”

LEADS

Continued from page 18A image or emotion present in the story. • One other key point: A reader is likely to spend only a few seconds deciding whether to read a story. If the lead does not grab the reader, the writer’s work is in vain. By the same token, don’t be a slave to guidelines. They all can be violated — for good reason. Feature leads Because most stories in scholastic publications, print or online, are features or news-features, the writer must think more creatively in the process of starting his or her story. So, the writer must consider the elements of feature writing. When writing feature leads, the writer must grab the reader’s attention from the very start. A weak or poorly written lead could leave the impression that the rest of the story will be of the same dull quality. (Likewise, a lead that might be clever but bears little relationship to the main point or points

of the story could annoy the reader, who then leaves the story.) These examples, modified from a secondary school journalism class handout of undetermined age and origin, show some of the ways to begin a feature article: Striking statement: A short snappy, explosive statement intended to surprise the reader. Harry Potter paid a visit to campus yesterday. Dozens of Harry Potters, in fact. Weather changes often in science teacher John Smith’s lab — like, every 10 minutes or so. Contrast: Emphasizes opposites or extremes. Snow covers the ground, but the loud pinging sound of aluminum bats striking horsehide baseballs fills the cool afternoon air above the baseball field. Nub Fremont dropped out of school after the sixth grade, but he is now one of the wealthiest citizens in town. Literary or historical allusion: Using

Martha Mitchell, wife of Watergate’s John Mitchell, answered a critic with, “Helen Thomas, I knew, would print the truth no matter what it cost her personally.” As president of the Women’s National Press Club, Thomas invited Madame Nina Popova, head of the Soviet Society for Foreign Friendship and Culture, to speak at a luncheon. During question time, one of the women asked whether an American would be given such an opportunity to speak in Popova’s country similar to the one she had been given here. Madame Popova turned to Helen Thomas and said, “How many would you like to address, Helen?” So in October 1960, Thomas visited Moscow, Leningrad, and Tashkent. Her first trip as a White House correspondent was with Merriman Smith to cover the Kennedys at Palm Beach for the Christmas holidays and their final days of transition. Thomas said that the real magnet that draws one to such a demanding way to make a living is the irresistible desire to “be there” when the major historic events of our time occur. The driving force is an insatiable curiosity about life, people and the world around us. She said, “I didn’t get into this business to be loved; I’d rather be respected for being fair. I wanted to break down that wall of secrecy we see so much in government. Without a doubt the perpetrators and guardians of that secrecy are the presidents themselves … I can’t help but feel gratitude for being able to have this front-row seat to some of the more historic events of the past forty years.”

references to history or literature or culture to help readers identify with the situation being explained in the story. (Be careful, however, that you don’t use images or ideas that are bad clichés. The first example is close; the second example is better.) Tabb High School’s state championship hopes sank quicker than the Titanic when star running back Terry Kirby broke his ankle in the first quarter of the opening-round playoff game. Taking a page from Edgar Allan Poe, English teacher John Smith confronted the intruder in his living room with a loaded pistol and a single word: “Nevermore.” Suspended interest: Enticing readers to continue reading by slowly adding or inserting interesting, surprising, unexpected facts or elements into the opening, or by using clever, humorous references or information to tease the reader’s curiosity or whet the reader’s appetite. Sophomore Jim Carter was involved in a two-car, one-bicycle, one-snake

accident recently at the intersection of Elm and Maple Streets. Quotation or paraphrase: Gets main character(s) into the opening immediately. However, this lead is rarely used by good writers anymore. The partial quote or a paraphrase that sets up a good quote in the second or third paragraph is a better way. NOT SO GOOD: “Unless there is dramatic improvement in student behavior, we will soon be forced to resort to torture and corporal punishment,” said senior Larry Johnson, who was taking the place of Principal Doris Jones during Student Government Day. BETTER: Senior Larry Johnson decided to add some humor to the otherwise serious business of Student Government Day. So he issued this warning: “Unless there is dramatic improvement in student behavior, we will soon be forced to resort to torture and corporal punishment.”

Anne Whitt

is a 1997-98 Dow Jones Special Recognition Adviser, 1999 Florida Journalism Teacher of the Year and 2000 Distinguished Adviser in JEA’s National Yearbook Adviser of the Year competition. In 2002 NSPA and JEA named her a Pioneer. In 2006 Florida Scholastic Press Association gave her its Medallion. Her column, “Whitt and Wisdom,” may be read without membership at www.Walsworth. com. Go to Resources and then Columns. With her family she also produces a community publication. Whitt can be reached at AWhitt1013@aol. com.


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The first tips are pretty hard-and-fast rules, along with some cautions: • Never, ever start a story with date or time. Unless you are publishing a daily newspaper, or a paper that comes out two or three times a week, exact date and time are unnecessary. Do not start a story with “On Friday, Oct. 10, at 1:30 p.m., . . .,” especially if the paper is not being published until November or December. What difference does it make if the event happened Friday (or Thursday), Oct. 10 (or Oct. 9) at 1:30 p.m. (or 10:45 a.m.)? An exception, of course, could be if the story is about

Writer’s Block

with the birth date of the subject. This construction shows up much less frequently in scholastic newspapers, thank goodness, but perhaps it was in the original copy and then edited out. In profiles, the better way to start is to use an anecdote from the person’s life, or perhaps summarize the person’s goals or objectives. • Avoid backing into the lead. Writing coach Paula LaRocque says this kind of construction hides the real lead behind a dependent clause, prepositional phrase or a conjunction, adjective or adverb. • Paul V. Sheehan, a former reporter and editor and later a journalism professor, says to avoid overly long identifications in leads, if a person is part of the lead. An identification such as this very one might be too long if it were placed at the start of a story, for example. Also, avoid putting the attribution in the first sentence, but include it in another nearby paragraph, according to Don Gibb, a Canadian journalism professor and former city editor. An attribution such as this very one probably muddies up the sentence and is to be avoided. Now tips on writing better leads: • If the first five to seven words of your first sentence don’t at least indicate what the story is about, you should start over. If you haven’t grabbed the reader so tightly by the end of the third or fourth paragraph (the first three or four paragraphs actually make up the lead of the story) that he or she cannot do anything but continue, you should start over. • The Who-What-Why-When-WhereHow questions must be answered somewhere in the first five or six paragraphs of the story, but not all in the first sentence. • Lead with specifics. Lead with real people, real incidents or events. • In profiles, you can start by paraphrasing a quote that helps set the stage for something that the

subject of the profile will be quoted as saying, preferably high up in the story. • Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute suggests that short leads work, because “even a long story can flow from one carefully crafted sentence.” Can you read the lead out loud without running out of breath? He also says leads must be honest. The anecdote or paraphrase used to open a story must relate directly to a main point or quote further down in the story. • David Knight, who has frequently instructed at scholastic journalism workshops and conferences, suggests that great leads have great first words, which means a great lead won’t use the name of the school or school mascot as the first word of the story. If you can’t find a great first word, at least shoot for a great first phrase. He also suggests that great leads do not rely on adjectives or adverbs, which often add length but not substance to the writing. • Many editors and writing coaches insist that writers rewrite their lead often. Determine (a) whether the lead as now written will automatically bring the reader along to the next sentence, paragraph and section; (b) whether the lead can be written with fewer words that have greater impact; (c) whether every word in the lead (not just the lead sentence) has meaning and purpose. Don’t be satisfied with the first lead you have written. • The occasional lead can be based on the element of surprise. EXAMPLE: “Central High School, whose colors are blue and gold, is turning green this year.” This could start a story about a school’s efforts to adopt more energy conservation and recycling programs. you can start a feature story in the second person as a way to draw the reader into a scene or situation, and then write in traditional third person for the rest of the story. Don’t jump back and forth between voices, however. • While avoiding clichés, you can use a well-chosen metaphor as a way to start a story, but the metaphor (figure of speech) must convey precisely the

See LEADS on page 19A

The yearbook — the only technology guaranteed to open 20 years from now

Those yearbooks that best accommodate their student body — everything from school size to socio-economic status — tend to have the most success. But despite the yearbook’s ability to fill a need for students, some yearbook advisers face the challenge of selling these memory books in schools with a culturally diverse population and a high poverty rate.

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earbooks continue to serve an important role in students’ lives. They may be getting smaller in size, but they still fulfill a purpose as a memory book whether it is the football team’s win-loss record, popular clothing and hair styles or a reminder of classmates and their achievements. For longevity and durability, today’s yearbook remains a valuable resource and an archive of days gone by. But research shows not every graduate values this resource enough to purchase his or her own personal copy. In fact, reduced school budgets are causing elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country to either do away with yearbooks or look for more costeffective publishing options.

Declining sales Research firm IBISWorld estimates that the traditional yearbook publishing industry has seen sales to schools decline by 4.7 percent a year over the past few years. Columbia Scholastic Press Association Executive Director Ed Sullivan, however, does not see the print yearbook going away any time soon. Sullivan said yearbooks may change their formats from hardcover to smaller paperbacks and may link to electronic content, but their memory function and durability will preserve their existence and guarantee an audience. “Most people no longer have videotapes and even CDs or DVDs are being replaced by cloud and data streams,” Sullivan said of the yearbook’s print viability. “Many copies of yearbooks outlived their owners, their schools and even their communities,” Sullivan said while it is difficult to watch a video yearbook produced for a VCR device that is no longer available. JEA Executive Director Kelly Furnas agrees that print yearbooks will continue to sell but more as a niche. “So while we used to be able to rely on the entire school buying a book,

some students are now getting that experience elsewhere. The concern is whether that niche will be big enough to sustain the financial cost of producing a book, but the good news is that the niche of students who want the book is still a great demographic to have,” said Furnas of challenges facing the production costs of print publications.

Sales challenge But despite the yearbook’s ability to fill a need for students, some yearbook advisers face the challenge of selling these memory books in schools with a culturally diverse population and a high poverty rate. “A huge chunk of our students come from countries where yearbooks were not a big deal,” said Oak Ridge, (Fla.) HS journalism teacher Colleen Bennett. “Most of these students didn’t grow up looking at their parents’ yearbooks, so they don’t understand the value of them,” Bennet added. Bennett, who is president of the Florida Scholastic Press Association and a JEA Digital Media member, produces a 136-page yearbook because of budget limitations. The Orlando school has a 9-12 school population of 2,200 students. A payment option helps students with the purchase of the yearbook which ranges between $50 and $65 depending on when purchased. Bennett said this flexibility has helped increase yearbook sales, which stand at 185 books. This payment-plan option, however, cannot overcome a 91 percent poverty rate, Bennett said. “We have a hard time selling something that seems trivial to them when many of them are working at night just to help their families put food on the table.” Know the audience Furnas said he understands that it’s a difficult marketing message, but schools with successful yearbook sales have books that know their

audience: “As much as we laud national standards for producing yearbooks, the publications that sell the best are those that look inward at the need of their schools. Those yearbooks that best accommodate their student body — everything from school size to socio-economic status — tend to have the most success.” Furnas agrees that yearbook advisers and their students face challenges in selling their publications. “I think it’s forcing entrepreneurship to become a much bigger part of journalism education, which is a good thing. No longer can we say that a student’s job at the yearbook is simply to take photos, or write stories, or design pages. Now the job of everyone on staff is to get the books in the hands of readers. But that sort of educational experience should actually be cementing yearbooks into our schools’ curriculum since you’d be hardpressed to find an academic setting that is teaching students such broad, high-demand, real-life skills,” said Furnas, who sees these challenges as a learning opportunity. Explore technology As for the competition between print and digital yearbook productions, Furnas said he is a believer in having student journalists explore the technology and understand the demand for digital products. “If we continue to market the yearbook as solely an item of instant gratification on distribution day, then yes, I think sales will increasingly become a challenge, since students can get that gratification through Facebook, ePubs or, frankly, even apps like Kik, Instagram or Snapchat. But I still contend that there is nothing out there other than yearbooks — not even a particular website — that we can say with confidence that the content about your high school years will be available 15, 20 or 30 years from now.”

Carol Smith

is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Springtown, Pa. The former high school journalism adviser and English teacher was editor of The Bethlehem News, a Lehigh Valley News Group publication. For 12 years, she edited The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition Teacher Guide, a Dow Jones & Company publication. She can be reached at casmith309@ verizon.net.

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is currently a journalism instructor at East Carolina University. He was journalism education coordinator at Richmond Newspapers Inc. from 1992 to 2003, after working 24 years as a reporter and editor at The Richmond News Leader 1968-92. He was assistant director of the DJNF Urban Journalism Workshop at Virginia Commonwealth University and chairman of the Virginia Press Association’s journalism education committee. He has been an instructor at state, regional and national scholastic journalism conferences. He served as associate editor at CityView magazine in Knoxville, Tenn., 2004-05 and is doing freelance writing and editing from his home in Greenville, N.C. He can be reached at steverow_editor @ hotmail.com.

oving from story idea and assignment to finished story often can take an incredible amount of time, especially when the less experienced writer confronts the most formidable obstacle in the entire writing process: getting started. Those of us who wrote mainly “hard” news stories for publication the same day or the next day usually were spared the agony of dreaming up a catchy, attention-grabbing lead for our stories. We stuck to the facts, sprinkling the “who-what-whywhen-where-how” in the first couple of paragraphs, and we were on our way. If an editor suggested a feature approach, or assigned a feature story, some of us (and I sheepishly raise my hand here) became lost, or almost so. Scholastic publications, whether in print or online, generally are not produced daily or every other day, however, so simply sitting down and creating a reasonably succinct account of something that happened in the past day or two is not an option. Greater care and creativity must be employed in getting stories started, especially if the stories are feature-type or newsfeature-type stories that not going to be read for several weeks. The elements and techniques of writing a good lead in those circumstances require more thought, and perhaps some of these tips will help you and your students as they struggle to figure out how to start their stories.

a historical event, such as the date the marching band played its first indoor concert, or the date the principal started his or her job. Even then, starting with a time element is risky. • Never, ever start a feature story or an issue story with “Many students” or “Many students around the world” or “Throughout history, many students...” The “many students” lead (sometimes called the “Voice of God” lead) is so fuzzy and so abstract — and often so bland — that the reader stops after the first paragraph and says to himself, “Yeah? So?” and stops reading the story. • Never, ever start a story with a oneword lead. The writer thinks: Cool. Not. • Never, ever start a story, especially an issue story, with a dictionary definition. Often the word is one that the reader already knows anyway. • Avoid starting a story with a quote. The quote itself might be OK, maybe even OK+, but more often than not, the paragraph that follows the quote weakens the opening: “That’s what senior Susan Smith said when asked about …” • Avoid starting a story with a question. If the reader is not interested in the question or the possible/ probable answer to the question, the writer has lost the battle. This is especially true for the cliché question, “What do A, B and C have in common?” The reader usually says, “Don’t know, don’t care.” Questions can be used sparingly in the body of a story as a type of transition, but they must be answered directly afterward. • Avoid starting a story with a cliché (“Yes, Virginia, there is a …” ; “When it rains, it pours …”; “… is between a rock and a hard place.”) This type of construction might work on a rare occasion, if the writer actually and successfully modifies the well-known cliché into a play on words, or if the cliché is absolutely perfect for the focus of the story. • In profile features, never, ever start

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Adviser UpdAte

Starting the story: Tips on leads By Steve Row

Steve Row

Adviser UpdAte


SUMMER 2014 8A Adviser Update

Adviser Update SUMMER 2014

A three-part package

Beatrice

One size does not necessarily fit all, in clothing OR in student media policies

leaves the

Press Rights by Candace & John Bowen

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Motamedi

challenging Stanford,

AWARDS — Urban School of San Francisco journalism students gathered May 12 for the California Press Women’s awards at the University of California, Berkeley. Front Row: Ian Shapiro, Marie Bergsund, Jacob Winick, Tessa Petrich; Row 2: Olivia DiNapoli, Ariane Goldsmith, Ilana Brandstetter, Aleah Jennings-Newhouse, Beatrice Motamedi, Hannah Berk; Back Row: Griffin Bianchi. Update courtesy

year at but she knows she’ll miss learning from her high school staff. “I’ll have some of the world’s best teachers ... I’ll miss the students who teach me.”

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When will we start to listen?

of California Press Women’s Association

By Beatrice Motamedi

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isten closely over the next few weeks, and you’ll hear the sound of teachers, taking one last, deep breath before returning to their classrooms.   Right about now is when that juicy novel is set aside, the beach towels are hung up for good, and someone forgets to water the garden. We buy fresh highlighters and power up our laptops. We get out our   grading bags. We find our keys. Though many of us don’t use them anymore, we’ll detect the unmistakable whiff of sharpened pencils as the calendar turns to September.   For me, this fall will be different. I’ll still be in the classroom, but as a student. Instead of my familiar place — teaching and laughing and sometimes just plain running after 16-year-olds in the Moon Room at The Urban School of San Francisco — I’ll be at Stanford, thinking hard about how to create a global student newsroom that is as collaborative, creative and joyful as the one I’m leaving. It won’t be easy. Something new This fall marks a decade since I left traditional journalism to become a teacher, first in the Oakland public schools and then at Urban. Teaching high school journalism has made me a better reporter, writer and editor than I could ever have dreamed. Two weeks into my first job, at Oakland Technical HS, I learned that the hard way — my printing budget was cut, I had no computers or AP Stylebooks, and the 25 kids in my classroom eyeing me uneasily as the excruciatingly hot days of late summer lengthened into fall,

had the crazy idea that we were there to actually produce something.   The medium was the message, wasn’t it? So why was I complaining? Where was the smell of a just-printed newspaper and the bundles landing with a thud? Where were the notebooks, the cameras, the press badges? The scoops, the deadlines, the rush? Were we in the right place? Wasn’t this journalism? Learning from teens For the first time but not the last, I learned that if you listen hard, a teen can teach you. Trading the newsroom for a classroom, I had been inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “the fierce urgency of now.” But there is nothing like being with a few dozen adolescent ink-stained wretches to learn the truth of those words.   Homecoming. Suicide. The winter play. Guns in schools. Hip hop. Adderall abuse. Every day, a kid would walk into my room with a story I’d never covered, a gift I didn’t have. The fierce urgency of now: Many nights, I stayed up late learning something I had to teach the next day, or reaching out to teacher friends with a classroom conundrum.   Can we really print a headline about Pussy Riot? What if my kids want to visit a firing range and shoot the same kind of assault rifle used at Sandy Hook? How do I guide the editor who wants to publish stories on the seven deadly teenage sins — drinking, drugs, cheating, sex, date rape, marijuana,

See LISTEN on page 9A

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f you’re starting to put together a new policy or tweak your old one, consider instead a trio of components: an editorial policy, including a mission statement; a policy and procedure manual with all the details explaining how the staff will carry out this mission; and an ethics statement, the “should we?” of the packet, increasingly important for today’s media.   While some student media have all these in one package and call it a “publications policy,” we encourage you to consider separating them so administrators don’t feel they can punish advisers or students who don’t follow the finer points the second two parts contain. Besides, ethics is not all black and white, so definitely these statements shouldn’t be a cause of punishment. What should this three-part package contain? First, a brief introduction and then your principles and mission. Who are you? What is your role? Who does this statement address? As journalists, we think about audience. Yours for this is probably administrators, readers/listeners, teachers and students in your school, parents, perhaps your community. You might want to include the First Amendment or parts of the Tinker v. Des Moines decision.   Are you planning to inform, entertain, persuade? Will you be the voice of your fellow students? Are you a watchdog of those who decide how learning goes on in your school? Are you going to offer suggestions to make this learning better? Are you a desig-

nated public forum for student expression where students make all final content decisions?   And very important: Which media does this cover? We would argue it’s best to have it cover ALL your students produce — newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, website, broadcast, even literary magazine.   Second, your process and procedures. This is how things really work on a day-today basis. And, we might add, this isn’t the concern of your school board. This part of the package is for YOU. Who gets the story ideas? What is the flow chart for content? Which of the student staffers do the final edit? What is the role of the adviser (to advise, not to DO)?   This can also be the nit-picky stuff all staffers should know, but often don’t think about. How is the staff organized? What are their job descriptions? Who reports to whom? What about news and feature content? Who decides what goes in? How are student and faculty deaths covered? Who decides editorial content and writes the actual editorials? What about letters to the editor? Can they all run? Would an editor ever change one? If

not, what if content is incorrect?   This can also be the place for all the how-tos – when someone is new or just needs refresher tips on interviewing, headline writing, organizing a kind of story he or she hasn’t written before. Here’s the spot for the Font Bible and style sheets.   In addition, what about procedures that make day-to-day functioning more efficient and professional? When can students leave campus? What if someone misses a deadline? A meeting? Can staffers eat, drink and do homework for other classes in the publication room? What about damaging equipment?   Finally, an ethics statement. In this age of transparency with our audiences, almost every media outlet has a statement that explains not what the law says they COULD do, but what they think they SHOULD do. That covers things like anonymous   sources — do you ever use them? If so, under what circumstances? What about publishing profanity? Plagiarism? How do you handle bias and conflicts of interest? Can a football player write about his team? Using

Three parts to an effective policy • Principles and vision • Process and procedures • Ethics statement

one of the professional journalism organization’s ethical policies as a starting point is fine, but it doesn’t cover all your staff may want to consider. Ethics is a practice of right versus right. Thinking about these questions will help keep you on the right path.   These should be positive instead of negative in nature. Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark called the approach “red light versus green light.”   Do you really want your principal punishing someone for using the wrong font in a headline, missing a staff meeting or taking a free box of popcorn after writing a review about a movie?     What you want is an administration and board who agree with your mission and basic aims and leave the finer points — ALL of them — to your students and you.   These three parts of an editorial package express different purposes. Together, they can establish the professional standards for your publication’s operation. Together, they will let your audiences know what they should expect from you and why.   More details on this trio concept, along with links to helpful websites, will be available at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. Nov. 6–9. Three of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee members will present a session about this and answer questions. This specific content will then be posted on jeasprc.org.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE,

directs the Center for Scholastic Journalism and the Ohio Scholastic Media Association and is an assistant professor at Kent State University. She can be reached at School of JMC, 201B Franklin Hall, Kent, OH 44242. Phone: 330-672-8297. E-mail: cbowen@ kent.edu.

John Bowen, MJE, chairs the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission. He is an adjunct professor in journalism at Kent State University. He can be reached at School of JMC, 201B Franklin Hall, Kent, OH 44242. Phone: 330-6723666. E-mail: jabowen@kent. edu.


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TWITTERVERSE

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about breaking news to “build credibility” of their publication as a news source. Tagging professional local coverage of your school may also strengthen your students’ interest in following journalism in general. Hashtag-results Finally, remember to hashtag everything.

HABIT GAP

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her page layout is good enough, did I take a look, is it finished? Yes, I’ll say, it’s perfect, and Mara will give me another look, green eyes narrowed, and go back to her laptop, because no layout is ever finished, and “perfect” is not in her vocabulary. I’ll miss Hannah, who literally jumped in the air when she saw her first byline, and who wants to do a newspaper next year and post it in the bathrooms, “because that’s where people really read.” I’ll miss Aleah and Aideen, natural-born editors who feel “the fierce urgency of now” even more than I do. I’ll miss Ella and Tessa, my editors-in-chief, who’ve meant morning to me for three years now. I’ll miss Olive, who went to the top of the Marriott Hotel to snap smog for a piece on global warming, but took equal care with every humble mug shot. I’ll miss Lily, whose unusual voice leapt off the page long before she said a word in class. I’ll miss Ian and Olivia and Jack and Zoe, whose talents are just emerging. I’ll miss them all, and even though I’ll spend next year looking for the best student journalists in the world, the truth is I’ve got some right now.

and eating disorders — all on the same day? What about the kid who rolls her eyes at everything I say and won’t get off her iPhone? Continued from page 8A No matter the time of day (or night), within minutes I would get an answer: Yes, of course you can. Or, maybe not. Slow down. Listen. Let students lead. Remember the First Amendment. And that kid? Let her use that iPhone — it’s a reporting tool. She could record quotes, take photos, do a survey. Why not? Ahead of the curve Why not, indeed. Long before backpack journalism became fashionable, journalism teachers have been scrambling to stay ahead of the curve, delving into design and layout, coaching photo and film, hacking Wordpress, teaching law and ethics, inventing new ways to tell stories for the kid who doesn’t actually like to write, and she’s not so crazy about reading, either. How to tell a story without words? Or new words? Easy: Cartoons, polls, podcasts. Slideshows, galleries, Twitter widgets. Crossword puzzles, but all the clues are news. Storify, SoundCloud. What about a giant infographic of a pepperoni pizza based on how many pies we ate last year? A teacher would call that reaching a visual learner. In journalism, where we are losing readers (print) and gaining visual learners (online), we call it innovation. What I’ll miss So that’s why, as grateful as I am for the chance to learn in a place where I’ll have some of the world’s best teachers, I’ll miss the students who teach me. I’ll miss Jacob, who bounces into the Moon Room every day, slaps me a high five, tells me he’s doing “awesome,” then updates me on his Middle East blog. I’ll miss Mara, who’ll sidle up to me, beautiful green eyes alight, to ask if

Listening to teens If I have my way, you’ll hear from teens like these much more. A decision to go to war should always have a 16-year-old at the table, arguing about why he or she should wield a gun. How teens navigate sex, school, and yes, Adderall, are stories more of us should hear. Malala Yousefzai began writing for the BBC about the Taliban in Afghanistan when she was 11 years old. Last year, at age 16, she became the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. There are many more Malalas in the world. When do we start listening to them? When they can drive? Pay taxes? Vote? As soon as they can speak? I think I know the answer. But give me a minute. I really ought to ask my kids.

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Beatrice Motamedi,

a Dow Jones News Fund Distinguished Adviser and a former San Francisco Chronicle staff writer, will be a John S. Knight Fellow in Journalism at Stanford University, where she will be developing a student-run global newswire. She also co-directs Newsroom by the Bay, a summer digital journalism program for high school journalists. Contact Beatrice at bymotamedi@gmail. com.

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8. I can get what I want by being persuasive. 9. I deal with issues or needs before they become problems. 10. I like to read. 11. I enjoy working with words (writing, editing, etc.). 12. I take great care to do excellent work. 13. I pay attention to details.

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1. I am well-organized. 2. I am punctual. 3. I am curious. 4. I speak clearly and precisely. 5. I am reliable. 6. I am persistent. 7. I do what is necessary before being told.

media staff members to overcome the dysfunction. Unfortunately, time constraints do not always allow for corrective action, resulting in media products that could have been better. Without meaning to be repetitive, let it be noted that habit gap research findings point to the possibility that advising loads can be lightened and media products can be improved. Incorporating the findings into action, however, will take more than merely sharing them with students. It will require concentrated and repeated efforts to develop in students at least some of the five habits, thereby reducing their overall habit gap. Clearly, the optimal time to begin these efforts would be at the beginning of the school year, and the process could involve short-term exercises related to each of the five differentiating habits. Of course, liking to read may be the hardest habit to develop, but it is worth the effort because much of the literature on success cites this habit as a prominent factor. Developing these habits and reducing the habit gap certainly could have far-reaching ramifications beyond student experiences with scholastic media. In fact, it would seem that as more students reduce their habit gaps, the closer we all get to a small portion of a perfect world.

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Success-related habits with high faculty agreement

One way people find Twitter feeds of interest is to search generic hashtags of the things in which they’re interested. If you’re posting a soccer score, add #soccer at the end, and anyone in your area who searches that hashtag will see your coverage. Adding generic searchable hashtags like #theatre, #schoolsports, #fitness to appropriate tweets is a great way to connect with followers who might never have discovered your feed otherwise.

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contributed an article titled “The stuff inside a journalist’s head.” The pulled quote from that article read, “You’re doing your students a considerable favor by making them aware of the importance of keeping up with current events and history. It’s something they will thank you for years from now.” Helping students to recognize the importance of other, achievement-related habits also can be a life-changing favor. Similar to teaching them an appreciation for current events and history, teaching them to close the habit gap by embracing the five differentiating habits listed earlier can enhance their chances for success both as students and in their post-academic careers. Just as important would be the effects that closing the habit gap could have on student media staff member performance and, subsequently, the quality of student media in general. For example, how often do student media staff members seem disorganized, fail to meet deadlines, fail to do what they have agreed to do or turn in poor quality assignments? Experience tells us that one or more of these shortfalls occur fairly regularly, leaving media advisers and other

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The habit gap

David M. Keith, lecturer

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“Montauk Lobster Fisherman Talks to Students About His 12 Hour Ordeal” BY CELESTE RAMOS AND ISAIAH SANCHEZ This story appeals to me because, after reading

about Mr. Aldridge’s story in the New YorkTimes Magazine, my students and I were able to get Mr. Aldridge to visit as a guest speaker at our school. Students prepared questions for a press conference, which they conducted, and followed it with an interview that resulted in the article. It was a rewarding experience that could only happen if the entire journalism staff worked together.

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“Your Guide to Spring and Summer Sports” BY ZOE CHANG AND DAN HONG CHEN

This spread appeals to me because of its layout of text and illustra-

tions. The illustrations were drawn by an eighth grade student, and the text is written in a lovely tone that is entertaining while being informative. The text and illustrations work well together.

The Shallow Gazette Edward B. Shallow JHS Brooklyn, NY

Kwasi Boateng,

associate professor in the School of Mass Communication, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, teaches media and culture, Internet policy and regulation, Internet/web design, and motion graphics. He organizes workshops for high school and middle school students on Internet/web design and open source content management systems, and has authored many scholarly publications.

Bruce L. Plopper,

professor emeritus in the School of Mass Communication, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, organized 15 high school journalism symposiums during his university teaching career and published numerous articles and research papers concerning student media, student press law, and journalism education. he can be reached at blplopper@ualr. edu.

Why it may matter to student media advisers BY KWASI BOATENG, BRUCE L. PLOPPER AND DAVID M. KEITH

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n a perfect world, all staff members of student media outlets would perform their assigned duties flawlessly, without their media advisers prompting them to take initiative, meet deadlines and pay attention to details. In reality, some student media staff members are dysfunctional. In turn, the burdens they place on their co-workers and media advisers can stress the production process and result in flawed media products. Why does the perfect world of student media sometimes differ so profoundly from the real world of student media? While there are many answers to this question, one new answer relates to the lack of lifestyle habits shared by students and faculty. Recent research shows that students who share certain habits with their teachers are more successful academically, and it’s probable that student media staff members who exhibit such habits will improve the student media world. In short, the fewer success-oriented habits that students share with their teachers, the more distance there likely will be between the perfect world of student media and the real world of student media. Birth of research Habit gap research, which embodies a new and unique approach to student success, began in early 2014 when the authors asked journalism and mass communication (JMC)

Scholastic Research Implications • Lifestyle habits that lead to academic and career success have been identified by various research projects. • A subset of five lifestyle habits statistically differentiates high-achieving students from other students. • Students who exhibit low levels of such habits experience a habit gap that could be contributing to their lack of academic success. • If journalism teachers could develop in their students one or more of the five differentiating habits, student media staff member dysfunction could be reduced and media product quality could be enhanced. • Student media staff members who do not experience a habit gap may reduce media production stress and media adviser workload. • Developing the identified habits must be a process that involves short-term activities related to each habit and that optimally would begin when the school year commences. faculty and students at two mid-South universities to rate how closely they thought 18 success-related lifestyle habits applied to themselves. The five-point rating scale used in the survey ranged from “This describes me almost never” to “This describes me almost always.” The habits were chosen from previous research that identified characteristics related to academic and career success.

Included among the habits were characteristics such as being punctual, doing what is necessary before being told, being persistent, being well-organized and liking to read. Approximately 90 percent of the JMC faculty at the two universities completed the survey, and 51 percent of the junior and senior JMC majors completed the survey. For purposes of data analysis, the students completing the survey

also had to give permission for the researchers to access their online transcripts, so the 51 percent voluntary participation rate among juniors and seniors was extraordinary. Survey results showed high JMC faculty agreement on the degree to which 13 of the habits applied to themselves: I am well-organized; I am punctual; I am curious; I speak clearly and precisely; I am reliable; I am persistent; I do what is necessary before being told; I can get what I want by being persuasive; I deal with issues or needs before they become problems; I like to read; I enjoy working with words (writing, editing, etc.); I take great care to do excellent work; and I pay attention to details. Five of these habits were found to be shared with students with high GPAs (3.5 and higher on a 4.0 scale). The five habits in the set are being well-organized, being punctual, being reliable, liking to read and taking care to do excellent work. Students who lack one or more of the habits in this set could be referred to as having a habit gap, and identifying these differentiating habits is perhaps the most important finding of the research. Why it matters In the winter 2014 issue of Adviser Update, former Dow Jones News Fund Executive Director Rich Holden

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Nancy Kaplan, adviser

and student media adviser in the Department of Mass Communication and Theatre at the University of Central Arkansas, spent more than 25 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, and has continued to work as a freelance print and broadcast journalist during his eight years in higher education.

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Making a mark in the Twitterverse

Six strategies to make your Twitter feed popular

Technology by Gary Clites

Gary Clites

witter has become the dominant social media for today’s high school students, and more and more student media are using it to extend their coverage of school events. Unfortunately, getting teenagers to follow your new journalistic feed can be a daunting task as many teens don’t see communicating more with their school as a major online goal. Just as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills can help you build your web presence, there are strategies that can work to make your Twitter feed more noticeable and help you gain more followers.

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Tweet more photos Any young person will tell you that the main reason they use Twitter (and Instagram) is to share photos with their friends. Unfortunately, most school journalism feeds tend to be text heavy with little attention paid to photos. This

is a mistake, especially considering that the devices we primarily use to post to Twitter, our smartphones, all include pretty good cameras to begin with. Encourage your TWEET — @HowlerSports tweeting photos. Most staff to shoot photos school journalism feeds tend to be text heavy with little of events you cover attention paid to photos. This is a mistake. and post them, with a short explanation, to your account. At my school, every time retrieve the entries. For prizes, contact local businesses for gift cards and we’ve ever posted a photo to Twitter, promise to mention them in every we’ve picked up at least one new Tweet. Another good source of prizes follower. You can also tweet short video clips. is Moxie, the high school music promotion company (www.gomoxie.org). For those broadcast programs that Sign up with them and they’ll regularly use High School Cube (http://www. send you free CD’s and concert tickets highschoolcube.com), the software to use as prizes. Last school year, includes a “Clip It” feature that allows journalists to grab the previous play as they sent my students four sets of tickets to top concerts coming to our area a highlight, then share it on Twitter — that we gave away on Twitter gaining a definite attention-getter. a large number of followers with every contest. Tweet contests Contests are another great way to Tag and link gain followers to your account. No, For groups that produce a large giving away a T-shirt is not journalism, volume of school-related stories and but tell that to local TV news broadvideo, high school journalism Twitter casts and newspapers who regularly run contests to build their social media account managers seldom think to link to that content. When you post a presence. You have to get followers big story to your website, link to it on signed up if you want an audience for your Twitter account. Use Twitter to your real content. promote all the platforms on which you Running a contest is easy. Post Tweets as well as posters around your publish. Vanessa Whiteside, adviser school telling students to follow you @ to the Circle Vision newsmagazine at Circle HS in Towanda, Kan., noted yournewsfeed and to Tweet a hashtag that her students have had success to enter the contest (#Warpedtagging local newspaper stories TourTix). When drawing time comes, just search for that hashtag under See TWITTERVERSE on page 16A #Discover in your Twitter account to

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Tweet early, tweet often In the Twitterverse (and, yes, that’s a thing), volume really does count. Many schools think sending out the occasional tweet will give them a presence. It won’t. Successful Twitter managers know that a steady stream of communication is necessary to attract and satisfy followers. Kris Urban, adviser of CDSunrise at Corona del Sol HS in Tempe, Ariz., explained, “As the school year started, we were tweeting occasionally. We covered a couple of football games, but we started tweeting out more news when our football coach was fired mid-season. However, it was during basketball that we excelled, and where we set the bar. I think we covered every boys’ basketball game via Twitter, adding Vines and then sometimes Storify-ing our coverage. We received compliments from staff, students, and family members, especially those from out of state, for our coverage.” During the year, Corona’s Twitter followers increased from 30 to over 900.

Live tweet events Most schools with Twitter accounts will pre-tweet a big event coming up, telling followers when and where the game, dance, etc. is happening, then post-tweet the results. Live tweeting an event involves sending reporters, often more than one, who then post a number of tweets as the event goes on. This can make for exciting live coverage for those who couldn’t make it to the big night. This is exactly how professional sports teams handle their Twitter accounts. I subscribe to the Washington Nationals’ feed, and am updated on every home run, every successful inning, and every time the bases are loaded. You can create the same live excitement for the big moments at your school. Bonnie Katzive, adviser of The Howler at Monarch Lakes HS in Louisville, Colo., says her staff runs a separate sports feed to live tweet games. “It gets a lot of traffic and positive feedback. Parents and students who cannot attend a game especially like the live tweets,” she said. Whether you allow student journalists to post directly to your Twitter account or have them text tweets to an editor or to you for posting (as required by many schools), giving followers live coverage is a great way to build a following.

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has been technology columnist for Adviser Update for over a dozen years. He served for over a decade as president of the MarylandDC Scholastic Press Association, received a Columbia Gold Key Award in 2008, and was a 2004 Distinguished Journalism Adviser in the DJNF National Journalism Teacher of the Year program. An archive of his articles on his website is available at www.garyclites. com. He can be reached at gclites@ comcast.net.

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Students of 2013 teacher honorees win scholarships

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or Hafsa Razi, Jim Streisel of Carmel (Ind.) HS “absolutely deserved” to be named the 2013 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Streisel was her journalism teacher for four years and adviser of the Hilite newspaper and hilite.org. Hafsa was one of four managing editors in her senior year. “Of all the classes I’ve taken in high school, his have done the most to help me grow as a person in terms of understanding how to work with others, how to get a job done well,” she said. She will enter the University of Chicago in September as the winner of a $1,000 scholarship from the Dow Jones News Fund awarded in Streisel’s honor after a May writing competition at the high school. She wrote a story based on a talk by Matt Tully, a columnist for the Indianapolis Star, about the changing media landscape and the need for journalists to adapt. Caitlin Muller was selected as an alternate. She plans to attend DePauw University.

Students of Distinguished Advisers Charla Harris, Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, Texas, and Jonathan Rogers, City HS, Iowa City, Iowa, will receive $500 scholarships after writing competitions at their schools. In a telephone interview from Sri Lanka in June, Hafsa said she hopes to figure out what she wants to write about while in college. A major in sociology might be useful in looking at education, politics or urban conditions. Her experience shadowing journalists at the Star in 2013 gave her real perspective on the job and helped to solidify her career choice. She praised Streisel for teaching journalism plus character and a work ethic. The Hilite and hilite.org have won National Pacemakers from the National Scholastic Press Association and the Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. “We’re a pretty successful paper but there’s always something we could do better and he

‘The world has changed’ Star columnist Matthew Tully discusses the changing news media landscape By Hafsa Razi, CaRmel HigH sCHool

Hafsa Razi

never let us forget that,” she said. She observed sometimes a story is a lot simpler and more basic than first thought. The end result should not be entangled in the reporter’s personal ambition which could lead to making a story bigger than it is. “It’s not about your own personal ambition or your own desire to become famous in your own right,” she said. “He was a proponent of us being independent, not just from the school but from him. He’d give us good advice but at the end of the day, we were the ones who had to decide. It was important that he had that much trust in us,” Hafsa said. She said the journalism training she received is valuable even for students who don’t want to pursue it as a career. “Being informed on how to discern, and how the news process works is an incredibly important skill as a consumer of journalism. It’s never going to go away. You can’t be too savvy.”

Distinguished Adviser winners A plea for peace

Holocaust survivor tells students of her experiences, warns of hatred, injustice She promised herself that she would never let them see her cry. She had to find an escape. Even though she lived in the Warsaw Ghetto, she couldn’t stand injustice, and so when a co-worker cheerfully exclaimed that a Jew in the factory had been discovered and shot, she ran away. She had to be alone to weep. On May 8, Holocaust survivor Wanda Wolosky spoke to a group of Pleasant Grove High School students about her experience growing up in Poland during the Nazi Occupation. The program, hosted by the history department, exposed students to the harsh realities of the Holocaust through her explicit stories, but Wolosky said that her goal was to share a message of peace, not hostility, especially in light of the bullying problem that many high school students face today. As a Polish Jew, she never ended up in a Concentration Camp, but she and her family were forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest Jewish ghetto established by Nazi Germany. She was only five when Germany invaded Poland, but only a few years later, when she was confined to the ghetto, Wolosky’s childhood was completely gone. "In this kind of situation you are not a little child; you grow up," she said. Her naivety was destroyed as she witnessed starvation and disease all around her. The daily food rations in Warsaw amounted to only about 180 calories a day. She remembers seeing dead people laid

out on the street and walking past them without thinking twice. Her only mind set was survival because she didn’t have time to think of anything else. "If a smuggler was caught with food, there was a bullet waiting for them," Wolosky said. "Many times, children and women would be smugglers. I was a smuggler."

Natalie Irwin

of Pleasant Grove HS wrote a story about Holocaust survivor Wanda Wolosky who speaks around the country about her life in the Warsaw Ghetto of Nazi-occupied Poland. Natalie plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station.

Starvation wasn’t the only danger in the ghetto. Every day 6,000 people boarded trains destined

news to literally come to their doorstep. Now, news media is a much more consumer-driven business.” “You can’t do things the way you used to — can’t just write a story and print it. You have to think about how people read news,” Tully said. This demands an understanding of visual elements, of video and photography, and of social media, of catching readers’ eyes in a deluge of information. According to Tully, there’s a greater need for young journalists to be jacks-of-all-trades-not just reporters or photographers or webmasters, but all of the above. The other side of this new relationship between readers and reporters requires a paradigm shift. After all the lay-offs and budget cuts and reshuffling of the late 2000s, Tully said that newspapers began doing something they’d never done before. “We did something crazy,” he said. “We started asking people to pay for our product.” Digital subscriptions, it seems, are the future of financing publications, an uncertain prospect given that most people are unused to paying for content online. Ironically, Tully said, newspapers like the Star now have more readers than ever — they just don’t have as many people paying to read it. In just one lifetime, one generation, Tully said, “the world has changed.” And within his own lifetime, more change is yet to come. The next few decades may see the disappearance of the daily print newspapers, as readers and journalists alike turn their attention online. And yet, the qualities that saved Tully and others from the pink slips are the same ones journalists have always valued — adaptability, scrupulousness, voice. Good journalism, Tully said, is still good journalism. Knowing how to write, how to get a scoop, how to be compelling — these are the skills that make or break reporters. This is not an entirely new concept, but it becomes ever more important. As a columnist, Tully’s writing voice is his trademark, his calling card, and the unique perspective he offers is the reason he still has a job, he said. “You have to find ways to make yourself unique ...,” Tully said. “You have to let your employers know you bring people to the paper.” And in turn, Tully said, he gets to bring stories to the people, stories that they need to hear just as much as they want to. There have always been important stories that need to be told, even if they don’t attract hundreds of readers, he said. The challenge now is being compelling enough, being unique enough, that the readers will stay and read them.

for concentration camps, and days before Wolosky escaped the compound, the German army began to bomb and burn down the ghetto. "From the windows in my house, the sky was red because the ghetto was burning," Wolosky said. "We left the ghetto with nothing but the clothes on our back."

Ellen Carman

of City HS wrote in April about the 75-year history of her school paper, The Little Hawk, based on a Google Hangout conference with Jack Kennedy, former adviser of the award-winning paper and a 1993 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. She was co-executive editor of The Little Hawk. Ellen is headed to DePaul University in Chicago.

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atthew Tully, columnist at the Indianapolis Star, occupies a unique space in the newsroom. After over 20 years in the business, Tully is of the old guard, the generation of journalists who were trained in straight reporting, who got jobs straight out of college and just kept going. And yet, he is a success story in a changing landscape for news media. During his long career, Tully did the night-cop beat in Gary, Ind., covered Congress and the president during Clinton’s impeachment and the terrorist attacks of 2001 and followed Mitch Daniel across Indiana on his campaign for governor. After 13 years as a reporter, Tully transitioned into column-writing, providing nuanced perspectives on everything from crime to education to politics to sports. And, notably, he lived through the toughest times in news media, as the old ways gave way to the new. “The years from 2007 to 2010 were the darkest for newspaper journalists,” Tully said. Slumps in advertising revenue, constant lay-offs, transfers of ownership — even at the Star, the most prominent local newspaper, Tully helped too many friends carry boxes to their cars, too often for reasons out of their control. It was, he said, “a demoralizing experience.” Now, the revolution is over. From it has emerged a new outlook among news media professionals, one that now emphasizes the reader over the reporter. “Long gone,” Tully said, “are the days of the daily 5 o’clock news and the frontto-back perusal of a broadsheet. Long gone are the days of people waiting for the

Matthew Tully

It’s not about your own personal ambitions.

Adviser UpdAte


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sUMMer 2014

Students of 2013 teacher honorees win scholarships

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or Hafsa Razi, Jim Streisel of Carmel (Ind.) HS “absolutely deserved” to be named the 2013 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. Streisel was her journalism teacher for four years and adviser of the Hilite newspaper and hilite.org. Hafsa was one of four managing editors in her senior year. “Of all the classes I’ve taken in high school, his have done the most to help me grow as a person in terms of understanding how to work with others, how to get a job done well,” she said. She will enter the University of Chicago in September as the winner of a $1,000 scholarship from the Dow Jones News Fund awarded in Streisel’s honor after a May writing competition at the high school. She wrote a story based on a talk by Matt Tully, a columnist for the Indianapolis Star, about the changing media landscape and the need for journalists to adapt. Caitlin Muller was selected as an alternate. She plans to attend DePauw University.

Students of Distinguished Advisers Charla Harris, Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, Texas, and Jonathan Rogers, City HS, Iowa City, Iowa, will receive $500 scholarships after writing competitions at their schools. In a telephone interview from Sri Lanka in June, Hafsa said she hopes to figure out what she wants to write about while in college. A major in sociology might be useful in looking at education, politics or urban conditions. Her experience shadowing journalists at the Star in 2013 gave her real perspective on the job and helped to solidify her career choice. She praised Streisel for teaching journalism plus character and a work ethic. The Hilite and hilite.org have won National Pacemakers from the National Scholastic Press Association and the Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. “We’re a pretty successful paper but there’s always something we could do better and he

‘The world has changed’ Star columnist Matthew Tully discusses the changing news media landscape By Hafsa Razi, CaRmel HigH sCHool

Hafsa Razi

never let us forget that,” she said. She observed sometimes a story is a lot simpler and more basic than first thought. The end result should not be entangled in the reporter’s personal ambition which could lead to making a story bigger than it is. “It’s not about your own personal ambition or your own desire to become famous in your own right,” she said. “He was a proponent of us being independent, not just from the school but from him. He’d give us good advice but at the end of the day, we were the ones who had to decide. It was important that he had that much trust in us,” Hafsa said. She said the journalism training she received is valuable even for students who don’t want to pursue it as a career. “Being informed on how to discern, and how the news process works is an incredibly important skill as a consumer of journalism. It’s never going to go away. You can’t be too savvy.”

Distinguished Adviser winners A plea for peace

Holocaust survivor tells students of her experiences, warns of hatred, injustice She promised herself that she would never let them see her cry. She had to find an escape. Even though she lived in the Warsaw Ghetto, she couldn’t stand injustice, and so when a co-worker cheerfully exclaimed that a Jew in the factory had been discovered and shot, she ran away. She had to be alone to weep. On May 8, Holocaust survivor Wanda Wolosky spoke to a group of Pleasant Grove High School students about her experience growing up in Poland during the Nazi Occupation. The program, hosted by the history department, exposed students to the harsh realities of the Holocaust through her explicit stories, but Wolosky said that her goal was to share a message of peace, not hostility, especially in light of the bullying problem that many high school students face today. As a Polish Jew, she never ended up in a Concentration Camp, but she and her family were forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest Jewish ghetto established by Nazi Germany. She was only five when Germany invaded Poland, but only a few years later, when she was confined to the ghetto, Wolosky’s childhood was completely gone. "In this kind of situation you are not a little child; you grow up," she said. Her naivety was destroyed as she witnessed starvation and disease all around her. The daily food rations in Warsaw amounted to only about 180 calories a day. She remembers seeing dead people laid

out on the street and walking past them without thinking twice. Her only mind set was survival because she didn’t have time to think of anything else. "If a smuggler was caught with food, there was a bullet waiting for them," Wolosky said. "Many times, children and women would be smugglers. I was a smuggler."

Natalie Irwin

of Pleasant Grove HS wrote a story about Holocaust survivor Wanda Wolosky who speaks around the country about her life in the Warsaw Ghetto of Nazi-occupied Poland. Natalie plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station.

Starvation wasn’t the only danger in the ghetto. Every day 6,000 people boarded trains destined

news to literally come to their doorstep. Now, news media is a much more consumer-driven business.” “You can’t do things the way you used to — can’t just write a story and print it. You have to think about how people read news,” Tully said. This demands an understanding of visual elements, of video and photography, and of social media, of catching readers’ eyes in a deluge of information. According to Tully, there’s a greater need for young journalists to be jacks-of-all-trades-not just reporters or photographers or webmasters, but all of the above. The other side of this new relationship between readers and reporters requires a paradigm shift. After all the lay-offs and budget cuts and reshuffling of the late 2000s, Tully said that newspapers began doing something they’d never done before. “We did something crazy,” he said. “We started asking people to pay for our product.” Digital subscriptions, it seems, are the future of financing publications, an uncertain prospect given that most people are unused to paying for content online. Ironically, Tully said, newspapers like the Star now have more readers than ever — they just don’t have as many people paying to read it. In just one lifetime, one generation, Tully said, “the world has changed.” And within his own lifetime, more change is yet to come. The next few decades may see the disappearance of the daily print newspapers, as readers and journalists alike turn their attention online. And yet, the qualities that saved Tully and others from the pink slips are the same ones journalists have always valued — adaptability, scrupulousness, voice. Good journalism, Tully said, is still good journalism. Knowing how to write, how to get a scoop, how to be compelling — these are the skills that make or break reporters. This is not an entirely new concept, but it becomes ever more important. As a columnist, Tully’s writing voice is his trademark, his calling card, and the unique perspective he offers is the reason he still has a job, he said. “You have to find ways to make yourself unique ...,” Tully said. “You have to let your employers know you bring people to the paper.” And in turn, Tully said, he gets to bring stories to the people, stories that they need to hear just as much as they want to. There have always been important stories that need to be told, even if they don’t attract hundreds of readers, he said. The challenge now is being compelling enough, being unique enough, that the readers will stay and read them.

for concentration camps, and days before Wolosky escaped the compound, the German army began to bomb and burn down the ghetto. "From the windows in my house, the sky was red because the ghetto was burning," Wolosky said. "We left the ghetto with nothing but the clothes on our back."

Ellen Carman

of City HS wrote in April about the 75-year history of her school paper, The Little Hawk, based on a Google Hangout conference with Jack Kennedy, former adviser of the award-winning paper and a 1993 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. She was co-executive editor of The Little Hawk. Ellen is headed to DePaul University in Chicago.

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atthew Tully, columnist at the Indianapolis Star, occupies a unique space in the newsroom. After over 20 years in the business, Tully is of the old guard, the generation of journalists who were trained in straight reporting, who got jobs straight out of college and just kept going. And yet, he is a success story in a changing landscape for news media. During his long career, Tully did the night-cop beat in Gary, Ind., covered Congress and the president during Clinton’s impeachment and the terrorist attacks of 2001 and followed Mitch Daniel across Indiana on his campaign for governor. After 13 years as a reporter, Tully transitioned into column-writing, providing nuanced perspectives on everything from crime to education to politics to sports. And, notably, he lived through the toughest times in news media, as the old ways gave way to the new. “The years from 2007 to 2010 were the darkest for newspaper journalists,” Tully said. Slumps in advertising revenue, constant lay-offs, transfers of ownership — even at the Star, the most prominent local newspaper, Tully helped too many friends carry boxes to their cars, too often for reasons out of their control. It was, he said, “a demoralizing experience.” Now, the revolution is over. From it has emerged a new outlook among news media professionals, one that now emphasizes the reader over the reporter. “Long gone,” Tully said, “are the days of the daily 5 o’clock news and the frontto-back perusal of a broadsheet. Long gone are the days of people waiting for the

Matthew Tully

It’s not about your own personal ambitions.

Adviser UpdAte


14A

SUMMER 2014

ADVISER UPDATE

ADVISER UPDATE

SUMMER 2014

11A

Making a mark in the Twitterverse

Six strategies to make your Twitter feed popular

Technology by Gary Clites

Gary Clites

witter has become the dominant social media for today’s high school students, and more and more student media are using it to extend their coverage of school events. Unfortunately, getting teenagers to follow your new journalistic feed can be a daunting task as many teens don’t see communicating more with their school as a major online goal. Just as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills can help you build your web presence, there are strategies that can work to make your Twitter feed more noticeable and help you gain more followers.

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Tweet more photos Any young person will tell you that the main reason they use Twitter (and Instagram) is to share photos with their friends. Unfortunately, most school journalism feeds tend to be text heavy with little attention paid to photos. This

is a mistake, especially considering that the devices we primarily use to post to Twitter, our smartphones, all include pretty good cameras to begin with. Encourage your TWEET — @HowlerSports tweeting photos. Most staff to shoot photos school journalism feeds tend to be text heavy with little of events you cover attention paid to photos. This is a mistake. and post them, with a short explanation, to your account. At my school, every time retrieve the entries. For prizes, contact local businesses for gift cards and we’ve ever posted a photo to Twitter, promise to mention them in every we’ve picked up at least one new Tweet. Another good source of prizes follower. You can also tweet short video clips. is Moxie, the high school music promotion company (www.gomoxie.org). For those broadcast programs that Sign up with them and they’ll regularly use High School Cube (http://www. send you free CD’s and concert tickets highschoolcube.com), the software to use as prizes. Last school year, includes a “Clip It” feature that allows journalists to grab the previous play as they sent my students four sets of tickets to top concerts coming to our area a highlight, then share it on Twitter — that we gave away on Twitter gaining a definite attention-getter. a large number of followers with every contest. Tweet contests Contests are another great way to Tag and link gain followers to your account. No, For groups that produce a large giving away a T-shirt is not journalism, volume of school-related stories and but tell that to local TV news broadvideo, high school journalism Twitter casts and newspapers who regularly run contests to build their social media account managers seldom think to link to that content. When you post a presence. You have to get followers big story to your website, link to it on signed up if you want an audience for your Twitter account. Use Twitter to your real content. promote all the platforms on which you Running a contest is easy. Post Tweets as well as posters around your publish. Vanessa Whiteside, adviser school telling students to follow you @ to the Circle Vision newsmagazine at Circle HS in Towanda, Kan., noted yournewsfeed and to Tweet a hashtag that her students have had success to enter the contest (#Warpedtagging local newspaper stories TourTix). When drawing time comes, just search for that hashtag under See TWITTERVERSE on page 16A #Discover in your Twitter account to

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Tweet early, tweet often In the Twitterverse (and, yes, that’s a thing), volume really does count. Many schools think sending out the occasional tweet will give them a presence. It won’t. Successful Twitter managers know that a steady stream of communication is necessary to attract and satisfy followers. Kris Urban, adviser of CDSunrise at Corona del Sol HS in Tempe, Ariz., explained, “As the school year started, we were tweeting occasionally. We covered a couple of football games, but we started tweeting out more news when our football coach was fired mid-season. However, it was during basketball that we excelled, and where we set the bar. I think we covered every boys’ basketball game via Twitter, adding Vines and then sometimes Storify-ing our coverage. We received compliments from staff, students, and family members, especially those from out of state, for our coverage.” During the year, Corona’s Twitter followers increased from 30 to over 900.

Live tweet events Most schools with Twitter accounts will pre-tweet a big event coming up, telling followers when and where the game, dance, etc. is happening, then post-tweet the results. Live tweeting an event involves sending reporters, often more than one, who then post a number of tweets as the event goes on. This can make for exciting live coverage for those who couldn’t make it to the big night. This is exactly how professional sports teams handle their Twitter accounts. I subscribe to the Washington Nationals’ feed, and am updated on every home run, every successful inning, and every time the bases are loaded. You can create the same live excitement for the big moments at your school. Bonnie Katzive, adviser of The Howler at Monarch Lakes HS in Louisville, Colo., says her staff runs a separate sports feed to live tweet games. “It gets a lot of traffic and positive feedback. Parents and students who cannot attend a game especially like the live tweets,” she said. Whether you allow student journalists to post directly to your Twitter account or have them text tweets to an editor or to you for posting (as required by many schools), giving followers live coverage is a great way to build a following.

Yellow

has been technology columnist for Adviser Update for over a dozen years. He served for over a decade as president of the MarylandDC Scholastic Press Association, received a Columbia Gold Key Award in 2008, and was a 2004 Distinguished Journalism Adviser in the DJNF National Journalism Teacher of the Year program. An archive of his articles on his website is available at www.garyclites. com. He can be reached at gclites@ comcast.net.

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SUMMER 2014

ADVISER UPDATE

The habit gap

David M. Keith, lecturer

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“Montauk Lobster Fisherman Talks to Students About His 12 Hour Ordeal” BY CELESTE RAMOS AND ISAIAH SANCHEZ This story appeals to me because, after reading

about Mr. Aldridge’s story in the New YorkTimes Magazine, my students and I were able to get Mr. Aldridge to visit as a guest speaker at our school. Students prepared questions for a press conference, which they conducted, and followed it with an interview that resulted in the article. It was a rewarding experience that could only happen if the entire journalism staff worked together.

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“Your Guide to Spring and Summer Sports” BY ZOE CHANG AND DAN HONG CHEN

This spread appeals to me because of its layout of text and illustra-

tions. The illustrations were drawn by an eighth grade student, and the text is written in a lovely tone that is entertaining while being informative. The text and illustrations work well together.

The Shallow Gazette Edward B. Shallow JHS Brooklyn, NY

Kwasi Boateng,

associate professor in the School of Mass Communication, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, teaches media and culture, Internet policy and regulation, Internet/web design, and motion graphics. He organizes workshops for high school and middle school students on Internet/web design and open source content management systems, and has authored many scholarly publications.

Bruce L. Plopper,

professor emeritus in the School of Mass Communication, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, organized 15 high school journalism symposiums during his university teaching career and published numerous articles and research papers concerning student media, student press law, and journalism education. he can be reached at blplopper@ualr. edu.

Why it may matter to student media advisers BY KWASI BOATENG, BRUCE L. PLOPPER AND DAVID M. KEITH

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n a perfect world, all staff members of student media outlets would perform their assigned duties flawlessly, without their media advisers prompting them to take initiative, meet deadlines and pay attention to details. In reality, some student media staff members are dysfunctional. In turn, the burdens they place on their co-workers and media advisers can stress the production process and result in flawed media products. Why does the perfect world of student media sometimes differ so profoundly from the real world of student media? While there are many answers to this question, one new answer relates to the lack of lifestyle habits shared by students and faculty. Recent research shows that students who share certain habits with their teachers are more successful academically, and it’s probable that student media staff members who exhibit such habits will improve the student media world. In short, the fewer success-oriented habits that students share with their teachers, the more distance there likely will be between the perfect world of student media and the real world of student media. Birth of research Habit gap research, which embodies a new and unique approach to student success, began in early 2014 when the authors asked journalism and mass communication (JMC)

Scholastic Research Implications • Lifestyle habits that lead to academic and career success have been identified by various research projects. • A subset of five lifestyle habits statistically differentiates high-achieving students from other students. • Students who exhibit low levels of such habits experience a habit gap that could be contributing to their lack of academic success. • If journalism teachers could develop in their students one or more of the five differentiating habits, student media staff member dysfunction could be reduced and media product quality could be enhanced. • Student media staff members who do not experience a habit gap may reduce media production stress and media adviser workload. • Developing the identified habits must be a process that involves short-term activities related to each habit and that optimally would begin when the school year commences. faculty and students at two mid-South universities to rate how closely they thought 18 success-related lifestyle habits applied to themselves. The five-point rating scale used in the survey ranged from “This describes me almost never” to “This describes me almost always.” The habits were chosen from previous research that identified characteristics related to academic and career success.

Included among the habits were characteristics such as being punctual, doing what is necessary before being told, being persistent, being well-organized and liking to read. Approximately 90 percent of the JMC faculty at the two universities completed the survey, and 51 percent of the junior and senior JMC majors completed the survey. For purposes of data analysis, the students completing the survey

also had to give permission for the researchers to access their online transcripts, so the 51 percent voluntary participation rate among juniors and seniors was extraordinary. Survey results showed high JMC faculty agreement on the degree to which 13 of the habits applied to themselves: I am well-organized; I am punctual; I am curious; I speak clearly and precisely; I am reliable; I am persistent; I do what is necessary before being told; I can get what I want by being persuasive; I deal with issues or needs before they become problems; I like to read; I enjoy working with words (writing, editing, etc.); I take great care to do excellent work; and I pay attention to details. Five of these habits were found to be shared with students with high GPAs (3.5 and higher on a 4.0 scale). The five habits in the set are being well-organized, being punctual, being reliable, liking to read and taking care to do excellent work. Students who lack one or more of the habits in this set could be referred to as having a habit gap, and identifying these differentiating habits is perhaps the most important finding of the research. Why it matters In the winter 2014 issue of Adviser Update, former Dow Jones News Fund Executive Director Rich Holden

See HABIT on page 16A

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Nancy Kaplan, adviser

and student media adviser in the Department of Mass Communication and Theatre at the University of Central Arkansas, spent more than 25 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, and has continued to work as a freelance print and broadcast journalist during his eight years in higher education.

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ADVISER UPDATE


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TWITTERVERSE

Continued from page 14A

about breaking news to “build credibility” of their publication as a news source. Tagging professional local coverage of your school may also strengthen your students’ interest in following journalism in general. Hashtag-results Finally, remember to hashtag everything.

HABIT GAP

Continued from page 15A

LISTEN

her page layout is good enough, did I take a look, is it finished? Yes, I’ll say, it’s perfect, and Mara will give me another look, green eyes narrowed, and go back to her laptop, because no layout is ever finished, and “perfect” is not in her vocabulary. I’ll miss Hannah, who literally jumped in the air when she saw her first byline, and who wants to do a newspaper next year and post it in the bathrooms, “because that’s where people really read.” I’ll miss Aleah and Aideen, natural-born editors who feel “the fierce urgency of now” even more than I do. I’ll miss Ella and Tessa, my editors-in-chief, who’ve meant morning to me for three years now. I’ll miss Olive, who went to the top of the Marriott Hotel to snap smog for a piece on global warming, but took equal care with every humble mug shot. I’ll miss Lily, whose unusual voice leapt off the page long before she said a word in class. I’ll miss Ian and Olivia and Jack and Zoe, whose talents are just emerging. I’ll miss them all, and even though I’ll spend next year looking for the best student journalists in the world, the truth is I’ve got some right now.

and eating disorders — all on the same day? What about the kid who rolls her eyes at everything I say and won’t get off her iPhone? Continued from page 8A No matter the time of day (or night), within minutes I would get an answer: Yes, of course you can. Or, maybe not. Slow down. Listen. Let students lead. Remember the First Amendment. And that kid? Let her use that iPhone — it’s a reporting tool. She could record quotes, take photos, do a survey. Why not? Ahead of the curve Why not, indeed. Long before backpack journalism became fashionable, journalism teachers have been scrambling to stay ahead of the curve, delving into design and layout, coaching photo and film, hacking Wordpress, teaching law and ethics, inventing new ways to tell stories for the kid who doesn’t actually like to write, and she’s not so crazy about reading, either. How to tell a story without words? Or new words? Easy: Cartoons, polls, podcasts. Slideshows, galleries, Twitter widgets. Crossword puzzles, but all the clues are news. Storify, SoundCloud. What about a giant infographic of a pepperoni pizza based on how many pies we ate last year? A teacher would call that reaching a visual learner. In journalism, where we are losing readers (print) and gaining visual learners (online), we call it innovation. What I’ll miss So that’s why, as grateful as I am for the chance to learn in a place where I’ll have some of the world’s best teachers, I’ll miss the students who teach me. I’ll miss Jacob, who bounces into the Moon Room every day, slaps me a high five, tells me he’s doing “awesome,” then updates me on his Middle East blog. I’ll miss Mara, who’ll sidle up to me, beautiful green eyes alight, to ask if

Listening to teens If I have my way, you’ll hear from teens like these much more. A decision to go to war should always have a 16-year-old at the table, arguing about why he or she should wield a gun. How teens navigate sex, school, and yes, Adderall, are stories more of us should hear. Malala Yousefzai began writing for the BBC about the Taliban in Afghanistan when she was 11 years old. Last year, at age 16, she became the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. There are many more Malalas in the world. When do we start listening to them? When they can drive? Pay taxes? Vote? As soon as they can speak? I think I know the answer. But give me a minute. I really ought to ask my kids.

9A

Beatrice Motamedi,

a Dow Jones News Fund Distinguished Adviser and a former San Francisco Chronicle staff writer, will be a John S. Knight Fellow in Journalism at Stanford University, where she will be developing a student-run global newswire. She also co-directs Newsroom by the Bay, a summer digital journalism program for high school journalists. Contact Beatrice at bymotamedi@gmail. com.

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8. I can get what I want by being persuasive. 9. I deal with issues or needs before they become problems. 10. I like to read. 11. I enjoy working with words (writing, editing, etc.). 12. I take great care to do excellent work. 13. I pay attention to details.

SUMMER 2014

cyan

1. I am well-organized. 2. I am punctual. 3. I am curious. 4. I speak clearly and precisely. 5. I am reliable. 6. I am persistent. 7. I do what is necessary before being told.

media staff members to overcome the dysfunction. Unfortunately, time constraints do not always allow for corrective action, resulting in media products that could have been better. Without meaning to be repetitive, let it be noted that habit gap research findings point to the possibility that advising loads can be lightened and media products can be improved. Incorporating the findings into action, however, will take more than merely sharing them with students. It will require concentrated and repeated efforts to develop in students at least some of the five habits, thereby reducing their overall habit gap. Clearly, the optimal time to begin these efforts would be at the beginning of the school year, and the process could involve short-term exercises related to each of the five differentiating habits. Of course, liking to read may be the hardest habit to develop, but it is worth the effort because much of the literature on success cites this habit as a prominent factor. Developing these habits and reducing the habit gap certainly could have far-reaching ramifications beyond student experiences with scholastic media. In fact, it would seem that as more students reduce their habit gaps, the closer we all get to a small portion of a perfect world.

ADVISER UPDATE

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Success-related habits with high faculty agreement

One way people find Twitter feeds of interest is to search generic hashtags of the things in which they’re interested. If you’re posting a soccer score, add #soccer at the end, and anyone in your area who searches that hashtag will see your coverage. Adding generic searchable hashtags like #theatre, #schoolsports, #fitness to appropriate tweets is a great way to connect with followers who might never have discovered your feed otherwise.

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contributed an article titled “The stuff inside a journalist’s head.” The pulled quote from that article read, “You’re doing your students a considerable favor by making them aware of the importance of keeping up with current events and history. It’s something they will thank you for years from now.” Helping students to recognize the importance of other, achievement-related habits also can be a life-changing favor. Similar to teaching them an appreciation for current events and history, teaching them to close the habit gap by embracing the five differentiating habits listed earlier can enhance their chances for success both as students and in their post-academic careers. Just as important would be the effects that closing the habit gap could have on student media staff member performance and, subsequently, the quality of student media in general. For example, how often do student media staff members seem disorganized, fail to meet deadlines, fail to do what they have agreed to do or turn in poor quality assignments? Experience tells us that one or more of these shortfalls occur fairly regularly, leaving media advisers and other

SUMMER 2014


SUMMER 2014 8A Adviser Update

Adviser Update SUMMER 2014

A three-part package

Beatrice

One size does not necessarily fit all, in clothing OR in student media policies

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Motamedi leaves the classroom

Press Rights by Candace & John Bowen

for a challenging

AWARDS — Urban School of San Francisco journalism students gathered May 12 for the California Press Women’s awards at the University of California, Berkeley. Front Row: Ian Shapiro, Marie Bergsund, Jacob Winick, Tessa Petrich; Row 2: Olivia DiNapoli, Ariane Goldsmith, Ilana Brandstetter, Aleah Jennings-Newhouse, Beatrice Motamedi, Hannah Berk; Back Row: Griffin Bianchi. Update courtesy

year at Stanford, but she knows she’ll miss learning from her high school staff. “I’ll have some of the world’s best teachers ... I’ll miss the students who teach me.”

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When will we start to listen?

of California Press Women’s Association

By Beatrice Motamedi

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isten closely over the next few weeks, and you’ll hear the sound of teachers, taking one last, deep breath before returning to their classrooms.   Right about now is when that juicy novel is set aside, the beach towels are hung up for good, and someone forgets to water the garden. We buy fresh highlighters and power up our laptops. We get out our   grading bags. We find our keys. Though many of us don’t use them anymore, we’ll detect the unmistakable whiff of sharpened pencils as the calendar turns to September.   For me, this fall will be different. I’ll still be in the classroom, but as a student. Instead of my familiar place — teaching and laughing and sometimes just plain running after 16-year-olds in the Moon Room at The Urban School of San Francisco — I’ll be at Stanford, thinking hard about how to create a global student newsroom that is as collaborative, creative and joyful as the one I’m leaving. It won’t be easy. Something new This fall marks a decade since I left traditional journalism to become a teacher, first in the Oakland public schools and then at Urban. Teaching high school journalism has made me a better reporter, writer and editor than I could ever have dreamed. Two weeks into my first job, at Oakland Technical HS, I learned that the hard way — my printing budget was cut, I had no computers or AP Stylebooks, and the 25 kids in my classroom eyeing me uneasily as the excruciatingly hot days of late summer lengthened into fall,

had the crazy idea that we were there to actually produce something.   The medium was the message, wasn’t it? So why was I complaining? Where was the smell of a just-printed newspaper and the bundles landing with a thud? Where were the notebooks, the cameras, the press badges? The scoops, the deadlines, the rush? Were we in the right place? Wasn’t this journalism? Learning from teens For the first time but not the last, I learned that if you listen hard, a teen can teach you. Trading the newsroom for a classroom, I had been inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “the fierce urgency of now.” But there is nothing like being with a few dozen adolescent ink-stained wretches to learn the truth of those words.   Homecoming. Suicide. The winter play. Guns in schools. Hip hop. Adderall abuse. Every day, a kid would walk into my room with a story I’d never covered, a gift I didn’t have. The fierce urgency of now: Many nights, I stayed up late learning something I had to teach the next day, or reaching out to teacher friends with a classroom conundrum.   Can we really print a headline about Pussy Riot? What if my kids want to visit a firing range and shoot the same kind of assault rifle used at Sandy Hook? How do I guide the editor who wants to publish stories on the seven deadly teenage sins — drinking, drugs, cheating, sex, date rape, marijuana,

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f you’re starting to put together a new policy or tweak your old one, consider instead a trio of components: an editorial policy, including a mission statement; a policy and procedure manual with all the details explaining how the staff will carry out this mission; and an ethics statement, the “should we?” of the packet, increasingly important for today’s media.   While some student media have all these in one package and call it a “publications policy,” we encourage you to consider separating them so administrators don’t feel they can punish advisers or students who don’t follow the finer points the second two parts contain. Besides, ethics is not all black and white, so definitely these statements shouldn’t be a cause of punishment. What should this three-part package contain? First, a brief introduction and then your principles and mission. Who are you? What is your role? Who does this statement address? As journalists, we think about audience. Yours for this is probably administrators, readers/listeners, teachers and students in your school, parents, perhaps your community. You might want to include the First Amendment or parts of the Tinker v. Des Moines decision.   Are you planning to inform, entertain, persuade? Will you be the voice of your fellow students? Are you a watchdog of those who decide how learning goes on in your school? Are you going to offer suggestions to make this learning better? Are you a desig-

nated public forum for student expression where students make all final content decisions?   And very important: Which media does this cover? We would argue it’s best to have it cover ALL your students produce — newspaper, newsmagazine, yearbook, website, broadcast, even literary magazine.   Second, your process and procedures. This is how things really work on a day-today basis. And, we might add, this isn’t the concern of your school board. This part of the package is for YOU. Who gets the story ideas? What is the flow chart for content? Which of the student staffers do the final edit? What is the role of the adviser (to advise, not to DO)?   This can also be the nit-picky stuff all staffers should know, but often don’t think about. How is the staff organized? What are their job descriptions? Who reports to whom? What about news and feature content? Who decides what goes in? How are student and faculty deaths covered? Who decides editorial content and writes the actual editorials? What about letters to the editor? Can they all run? Would an editor ever change one? If

not, what if content is incorrect?   This can also be the place for all the how-tos – when someone is new or just needs refresher tips on interviewing, headline writing, organizing a kind of story he or she hasn’t written before. Here’s the spot for the Font Bible and style sheets.   In addition, what about procedures that make day-to-day functioning more efficient and professional? When can students leave campus? What if someone misses a deadline? A meeting? Can staffers eat, drink and do homework for other classes in the publication room? What about damaging equipment?   Finally, an ethics statement. In this age of transparency with our audiences, almost every media outlet has a statement that explains not what the law says they COULD do, but what they think they SHOULD do. That covers things like anonymous   sources — do you ever use them? If so, under what circumstances? What about publishing profanity? Plagiarism? How do you handle bias and conflicts of interest? Can a football player write about his team? Using

Three parts to an effective policy • Principles and vision • Process and procedures • Ethics statement

one of the professional journalism organization’s ethical policies as a starting point is fine, but it doesn’t cover all your staff may want to consider. Ethics is a practice of right versus right. Thinking about these questions will help keep you on the right path.   These should be positive instead of negative in nature. Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark called the approach “red light versus green light.”   Do you really want your principal punishing someone for using the wrong font in a headline, missing a staff meeting or taking a free box of popcorn after writing a review about a movie?     What you want is an administration and board who agree with your mission and basic aims and leave the finer points — ALL of them — to your students and you.   These three parts of an editorial package express different purposes. Together, they can establish the professional standards for your publication’s operation. Together, they will let your audiences know what they should expect from you and why.   More details on this trio concept, along with links to helpful websites, will be available at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. Nov. 6–9. Three of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee members will present a session about this and answer questions. This specific content will then be posted on jeasprc.org.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE,

directs the Center for Scholastic Journalism and the Ohio Scholastic Media Association and is an assistant professor at Kent State University. She can be reached at School of JMC, 201B Franklin Hall, Kent, OH 44242. Phone: 330-672-8297. E-mail: cbowen@ kent.edu.

John Bowen, MJE, chairs the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission. He is an adjunct professor in journalism at Kent State University. He can be reached at School of JMC, 201B Franklin Hall, Kent, OH 44242. Phone: 330-6723666. E-mail: jabowen@kent. edu.


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The first tips are pretty hard-and-fast rules, along with some cautions: • Never, ever start a story with date or time. Unless you are publishing a daily newspaper, or a paper that comes out two or three times a week, exact date and time are unnecessary. Do not start a story with “On Friday, Oct. 10, at 1:30 p.m., . . .,” especially if the paper is not being published until November or December. What difference does it make if the event happened Friday (or Thursday), Oct. 10 (or Oct. 9) at 1:30 p.m. (or 10:45 a.m.)? An exception, of course, could be if the story is about

Writer’s Block

with the birth date of the subject. This construction shows up much less frequently in scholastic newspapers, thank goodness, but perhaps it was in the original copy and then edited out. In profiles, the better way to start is to use an anecdote from the person’s life, or perhaps summarize the person’s goals or objectives. • Avoid backing into the lead. Writing coach Paula LaRocque says this kind of construction hides the real lead behind a dependent clause, prepositional phrase or a conjunction, adjective or adverb. • Paul V. Sheehan, a former reporter and editor and later a journalism professor, says to avoid overly long identifications in leads, if a person is part of the lead. An identification such as this very one might be too long if it were placed at the start of a story, for example. Also, avoid putting the attribution in the first sentence, but include it in another nearby paragraph, according to Don Gibb, a Canadian journalism professor and former city editor. An attribution such as this very one probably muddies up the sentence and is to be avoided. Now tips on writing better leads: • If the first five to seven words of your first sentence don’t at least indicate what the story is about, you should start over. If you haven’t grabbed the reader so tightly by the end of the third or fourth paragraph (the first three or four paragraphs actually make up the lead of the story) that he or she cannot do anything but continue, you should start over. • The Who-What-Why-When-WhereHow questions must be answered somewhere in the first five or six paragraphs of the story, but not all in the first sentence. • Lead with specifics. Lead with real people, real incidents or events. • In profiles, you can start by paraphrasing a quote that helps set the stage for something that the

subject of the profile will be quoted as saying, preferably high up in the story. • Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute suggests that short leads work, because “even a long story can flow from one carefully crafted sentence.” Can you read the lead out loud without running out of breath? He also says leads must be honest. The anecdote or paraphrase used to open a story must relate directly to a main point or quote further down in the story. • David Knight, who has frequently instructed at scholastic journalism workshops and conferences, suggests that great leads have great first words, which means a great lead won’t use the name of the school or school mascot as the first word of the story. If you can’t find a great first word, at least shoot for a great first phrase. He also suggests that great leads do not rely on adjectives or adverbs, which often add length but not substance to the writing. • Many editors and writing coaches insist that writers rewrite their lead often. Determine (a) whether the lead as now written will automatically bring the reader along to the next sentence, paragraph and section; (b) whether the lead can be written with fewer words that have greater impact; (c) whether every word in the lead (not just the lead sentence) has meaning and purpose. Don’t be satisfied with the first lead you have written. • The occasional lead can be based on the element of surprise. EXAMPLE: “Central High School, whose colors are blue and gold, is turning green this year.” This could start a story about a school’s efforts to adopt more energy conservation and recycling programs. you can start a feature story in the second person as a way to draw the reader into a scene or situation, and then write in traditional third person for the rest of the story. Don’t jump back and forth between voices, however. • While avoiding clichés, you can use a well-chosen metaphor as a way to start a story, but the metaphor (figure of speech) must convey precisely the

See LEADS on page 19A

The yearbook — the only technology guaranteed to open 20 years from now

Those yearbooks that best accommodate their student body — everything from school size to socio-economic status — tend to have the most success. But despite the yearbook’s ability to fill a need for students, some yearbook advisers face the challenge of selling these memory books in schools with a culturally diverse population and a high poverty rate.

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earbooks continue to serve an important role in students’ lives. They may be getting smaller in size, but they still fulfill a purpose as a memory book whether it is the football team’s win-loss record, popular clothing and hair styles or a reminder of classmates and their achievements. For longevity and durability, today’s yearbook remains a valuable resource and an archive of days gone by. But research shows not every graduate values this resource enough to purchase his or her own personal copy. In fact, reduced school budgets are causing elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country to either do away with yearbooks or look for more costeffective publishing options.

Declining sales Research firm IBISWorld estimates that the traditional yearbook publishing industry has seen sales to schools decline by 4.7 percent a year over the past few years. Columbia Scholastic Press Association Executive Director Ed Sullivan, however, does not see the print yearbook going away any time soon. Sullivan said yearbooks may change their formats from hardcover to smaller paperbacks and may link to electronic content, but their memory function and durability will preserve their existence and guarantee an audience. “Most people no longer have videotapes and even CDs or DVDs are being replaced by cloud and data streams,” Sullivan said of the yearbook’s print viability. “Many copies of yearbooks outlived their owners, their schools and even their communities,” Sullivan said while it is difficult to watch a video yearbook produced for a VCR device that is no longer available. JEA Executive Director Kelly Furnas agrees that print yearbooks will continue to sell but more as a niche. “So while we used to be able to rely on the entire school buying a book,

some students are now getting that experience elsewhere. The concern is whether that niche will be big enough to sustain the financial cost of producing a book, but the good news is that the niche of students who want the book is still a great demographic to have,” said Furnas of challenges facing the production costs of print publications.

Sales challenge But despite the yearbook’s ability to fill a need for students, some yearbook advisers face the challenge of selling these memory books in schools with a culturally diverse population and a high poverty rate. “A huge chunk of our students come from countries where yearbooks were not a big deal,” said Oak Ridge, (Fla.) HS journalism teacher Colleen Bennett. “Most of these students didn’t grow up looking at their parents’ yearbooks, so they don’t understand the value of them,” Bennet added. Bennett, who is president of the Florida Scholastic Press Association and a JEA Digital Media member, produces a 136-page yearbook because of budget limitations. The Orlando school has a 9-12 school population of 2,200 students. A payment option helps students with the purchase of the yearbook which ranges between $50 and $65 depending on when purchased. Bennett said this flexibility has helped increase yearbook sales, which stand at 185 books. This payment-plan option, however, cannot overcome a 91 percent poverty rate, Bennett said. “We have a hard time selling something that seems trivial to them when many of them are working at night just to help their families put food on the table.” Know the audience Furnas said he understands that it’s a difficult marketing message, but schools with successful yearbook sales have books that know their

audience: “As much as we laud national standards for producing yearbooks, the publications that sell the best are those that look inward at the need of their schools. Those yearbooks that best accommodate their student body — everything from school size to socio-economic status — tend to have the most success.” Furnas agrees that yearbook advisers and their students face challenges in selling their publications. “I think it’s forcing entrepreneurship to become a much bigger part of journalism education, which is a good thing. No longer can we say that a student’s job at the yearbook is simply to take photos, or write stories, or design pages. Now the job of everyone on staff is to get the books in the hands of readers. But that sort of educational experience should actually be cementing yearbooks into our schools’ curriculum since you’d be hardpressed to find an academic setting that is teaching students such broad, high-demand, real-life skills,” said Furnas, who sees these challenges as a learning opportunity. Explore technology As for the competition between print and digital yearbook productions, Furnas said he is a believer in having student journalists explore the technology and understand the demand for digital products. “If we continue to market the yearbook as solely an item of instant gratification on distribution day, then yes, I think sales will increasingly become a challenge, since students can get that gratification through Facebook, ePubs or, frankly, even apps like Kik, Instagram or Snapchat. But I still contend that there is nothing out there other than yearbooks — not even a particular website — that we can say with confidence that the content about your high school years will be available 15, 20 or 30 years from now.”

Carol Smith

is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Springtown, Pa. The former high school journalism adviser and English teacher was editor of The Bethlehem News, a Lehigh Valley News Group publication. For 12 years, she edited The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition Teacher Guide, a Dow Jones & Company publication. She can be reached at casmith309@ verizon.net.

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is currently a journalism instructor at East Carolina University. He was journalism education coordinator at Richmond Newspapers Inc. from 1992 to 2003, after working 24 years as a reporter and editor at The Richmond News Leader 1968-92. He was assistant director of the DJNF Urban Journalism Workshop at Virginia Commonwealth University and chairman of the Virginia Press Association’s journalism education committee. He has been an instructor at state, regional and national scholastic journalism conferences. He served as associate editor at CityView magazine in Knoxville, Tenn., 2004-05 and is doing freelance writing and editing from his home in Greenville, N.C. He can be reached at steverow_editor @ hotmail.com.

oving from story idea and assignment to finished story often can take an incredible amount of time, especially when the less experienced writer confronts the most formidable obstacle in the entire writing process: getting started. Those of us who wrote mainly “hard” news stories for publication the same day or the next day usually were spared the agony of dreaming up a catchy, attention-grabbing lead for our stories. We stuck to the facts, sprinkling the “who-what-whywhen-where-how” in the first couple of paragraphs, and we were on our way. If an editor suggested a feature approach, or assigned a feature story, some of us (and I sheepishly raise my hand here) became lost, or almost so. Scholastic publications, whether in print or online, generally are not produced daily or every other day, however, so simply sitting down and creating a reasonably succinct account of something that happened in the past day or two is not an option. Greater care and creativity must be employed in getting stories started, especially if the stories are feature-type or newsfeature-type stories that not going to be read for several weeks. The elements and techniques of writing a good lead in those circumstances require more thought, and perhaps some of these tips will help you and your students as they struggle to figure out how to start their stories.

a historical event, such as the date the marching band played its first indoor concert, or the date the principal started his or her job. Even then, starting with a time element is risky. • Never, ever start a feature story or an issue story with “Many students” or “Many students around the world” or “Throughout history, many students...” The “many students” lead (sometimes called the “Voice of God” lead) is so fuzzy and so abstract — and often so bland — that the reader stops after the first paragraph and says to himself, “Yeah? So?” and stops reading the story. • Never, ever start a story with a oneword lead. The writer thinks: Cool. Not. • Never, ever start a story, especially an issue story, with a dictionary definition. Often the word is one that the reader already knows anyway. • Avoid starting a story with a quote. The quote itself might be OK, maybe even OK+, but more often than not, the paragraph that follows the quote weakens the opening: “That’s what senior Susan Smith said when asked about …” • Avoid starting a story with a question. If the reader is not interested in the question or the possible/ probable answer to the question, the writer has lost the battle. This is especially true for the cliché question, “What do A, B and C have in common?” The reader usually says, “Don’t know, don’t care.” Questions can be used sparingly in the body of a story as a type of transition, but they must be answered directly afterward. • Avoid starting a story with a cliché (“Yes, Virginia, there is a …” ; “When it rains, it pours …”; “… is between a rock and a hard place.”) This type of construction might work on a rare occasion, if the writer actually and successfully modifies the well-known cliché into a play on words, or if the cliché is absolutely perfect for the focus of the story. • In profile features, never, ever start

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Starting the story: Tips on leads By Steve Row

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ADVISER UPDATE

Creating an

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BY JIM STREISEL

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Jim Streisel,

the 2013 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, is the adviser of the Carmel (IN) HS HiLite newspaper and its website, www.hilite.org. Streisel has written two journalism textbooks, “High School Journalism: A Practical Guide” and “Scholastic Web Journalism: Connecting with Readers in a Digital World.” You can reach him at jstreise@ccs.k12. in.us.

ver the past year, several journalism educators have asked me how to create a good working classroom “culture.” In other words, how can they create an atmosphere where their students are intrinsically motivated to do well, to care about the final product, to want to do their very best without worrying about grades? Just recently, I read Daniel Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us,” and I think I now have a response. Pink indicates that research into intrinsic motivation is relatively new. In fact, most companies still work under the old “carrot and stick” policy of extrinsic motivation, trying to pry work from their employees by either offering them incentives or by punishing them for failure to meet standards. But, according to the new research, carrots and sticks have several unintended consequences including extinguishing intrinsic motivation, diminishing performance and crushing creativity. What employees require in terms of extrinsic motivators are really just “baseline rewards.” Whether those rewards are money or grades, they simply need to be adequate and equitable; once you pass that threshold, carrots and sticks don’t work anymore.

In the classroom In the journalism classroom, this means in order to create an atmosphere conducive to intrinsic motivation, we first need to provide our students with fair and equitable treatment. We need to find a way to assess our students without making them terrified of receiving a bad grade. So the first step is creating a grading system in your classroom that basically gets the grades out of the way. That’s not to say students shouldn’t be accountable for their work; rather, it means students who meet the standards should feel as if the grade they earn is fair. The grade is simply a

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byproduct of good work. Suffice it to say, taking grades off the table is the first step to fostering a more intrinsically motivated classroom. Then, according to Pink, once you have that baseline, there are three “nutrients” essential to “Type I” (intrinsically motivated) behavior: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy: Acting with choice It’s important to allow the students in your classroom to have a certain level of personal choice when it comes to their day-to-day activities. Whether that means selecting their own stories or choosing to spend the class period developing a new skill, students need to feel like they have control over their education. According to recent behavioral science studies, autonomous motivation “promotes greater conceptual understanding, better grades, enhanced persistence at school … higher productivity, less burnout and greater levels of psychological well-being” (Pink). Interestingly, this idea runs counter to the concept of “student engagement” that my colleagues and I looked at this year in our professional learning community (PLC). We spent the entire year trying to find ways to get our students fully “engaged” in our classrooms (i.e. looking busy), when our students were probably fully engaged all along. This new concept of autonomy will certainly create an interesting conversation next year. Mastery that matters Goal-setting is extremely important in any work environment. However, it’s vital to know the difference between “performance” goals (i.e.

getting an A in French class) and “learning” goals (i.e. being able to speak French). We need to have our students create long-term learning goals that will help them attain mastery. But mastery is difficult; complete mastery is impossible. It means working and working for days, weeks or years, often with little to show for your effort. But, according to Pink, the grueling work of attaining mastery is the goal. He writes, “Effort is one of those things MOTIVATE — Individual interaction is an important comthat gives meaning to ponent of Carmel (Ind.) HS adviser Jim Streisel’s teaching life. Effort means you methods. Here, Streisel works with reporter Shakeel Zia care about something, while other newspaper students work on a variety of differthat something is iment projects. Update photo by Kyle Crawford portant to you and you are willing to work for it.” describe the publication in terms of “they,” then they don’t; if they use the Purpose provides context pronoun “we,” you’re in pretty good When students who are autonomous shape. and work toward mastery get together in the service of something greater No silver bullet than themselves (i.e. their publicaAnd there you have it. A few pretty tions, websites, etc.), they can achieve general ideas to help promote an even more. It’s important to get your intrinsically motivated journalism staff. students to “buy in” to what they’re Clearly, this column doesn’t provide doing. you with the silver bullet to fix all of What greater cause, then, than a your problems, but I hope it gives you public forum where they can exercise some new ideas to explore. their First Amendment rights to free I always continue to tweak my prospeech, where they can inform, edugram — as my principal likes to say, cate and entertain their audience and “If you don’t strive to get better, you’re provide them with an invaluable piece going to get worse” — and these ideas of information? will certainly help me to continue to Do your students already have a get better in the months and years sense of purpose? Ask them. If they ahead.

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Tales & Traditions of the Press T

‘I’d rather be respected for being fair’

Footnotes by Anne Whitt

rying to impress family and friends, young Helen Thomas sang heartedly with the piano. A friend asked whether Helen aspired to a career in singing. “Absolutely not,” she said. “I’m going to be a newspaper reporter, and a great one.” Forty years later, President Clinton said at a White House Correspondents dinner, “Helen Thomas is not just the longest serving correspondent in the White House … She’s still the hardest working. By my calculations she’s had about ten thousand mornings, been through thousands of notebooks, thousands of ballpoint pens, thousands of cups of coffee … but it never has compromised her yet.” In 1997 she was the first “Journalist of the Day” at the dedication of the Newseum. The White House reporter through eight presidential administrations said, “The presidency awes me, but not the presidents … As for reporters, we hold a trust to seek the truth and to keep faith with the people’s right to know. In so doing, we must let the chips fall where they may … Only in a democracy are reporters allowed to interrogate their leaders … it falls to the reporter to hold government officials accountable and to explain their actions and their policies.”

LEADS

Continued from page 18A image or emotion present in the story. • One other key point: A reader is likely to spend only a few seconds deciding whether to read a story. If the lead does not grab the reader, the writer’s work is in vain. By the same token, don’t be a slave to guidelines. They all can be violated — for good reason. Feature leads Because most stories in scholastic publications, print or online, are features or news-features, the writer must think more creatively in the process of starting his or her story. So, the writer must consider the elements of feature writing. When writing feature leads, the writer must grab the reader’s attention from the very start. A weak or poorly written lead could leave the impression that the rest of the story will be of the same dull quality. (Likewise, a lead that might be clever but bears little relationship to the main point or points

of the story could annoy the reader, who then leaves the story.) These examples, modified from a secondary school journalism class handout of undetermined age and origin, show some of the ways to begin a feature article: Striking statement: A short snappy, explosive statement intended to surprise the reader. Harry Potter paid a visit to campus yesterday. Dozens of Harry Potters, in fact. Weather changes often in science teacher John Smith’s lab — like, every 10 minutes or so. Contrast: Emphasizes opposites or extremes. Snow covers the ground, but the loud pinging sound of aluminum bats striking horsehide baseballs fills the cool afternoon air above the baseball field. Nub Fremont dropped out of school after the sixth grade, but he is now one of the wealthiest citizens in town. Literary or historical allusion: Using

Martha Mitchell, wife of Watergate’s John Mitchell, answered a critic with, “Helen Thomas, I knew, would print the truth no matter what it cost her personally.” As president of the Women’s National Press Club, Thomas invited Madame Nina Popova, head of the Soviet Society for Foreign Friendship and Culture, to speak at a luncheon. During question time, one of the women asked whether an American would be given such an opportunity to speak in Popova’s country similar to the one she had been given here. Madame Popova turned to Helen Thomas and said, “How many would you like to address, Helen?” So in October 1960, Thomas visited Moscow, Leningrad, and Tashkent. Her first trip as a White House correspondent was with Merriman Smith to cover the Kennedys at Palm Beach for the Christmas holidays and their final days of transition. Thomas said that the real magnet that draws one to such a demanding way to make a living is the irresistible desire to “be there” when the major historic events of our time occur. The driving force is an insatiable curiosity about life, people and the world around us. She said, “I didn’t get into this business to be loved; I’d rather be respected for being fair. I wanted to break down that wall of secrecy we see so much in government. Without a doubt the perpetrators and guardians of that secrecy are the presidents themselves … I can’t help but feel gratitude for being able to have this front-row seat to some of the more historic events of the past forty years.”

references to history or literature or culture to help readers identify with the situation being explained in the story. (Be careful, however, that you don’t use images or ideas that are bad clichés. The first example is close; the second example is better.) Tabb High School’s state championship hopes sank quicker than the Titanic when star running back Terry Kirby broke his ankle in the first quarter of the opening-round playoff game. Taking a page from Edgar Allan Poe, English teacher John Smith confronted the intruder in his living room with a loaded pistol and a single word: “Nevermore.” Suspended interest: Enticing readers to continue reading by slowly adding or inserting interesting, surprising, unexpected facts or elements into the opening, or by using clever, humorous references or information to tease the reader’s curiosity or whet the reader’s appetite. Sophomore Jim Carter was involved in a two-car, one-bicycle, one-snake

accident recently at the intersection of Elm and Maple Streets. Quotation or paraphrase: Gets main character(s) into the opening immediately. However, this lead is rarely used by good writers anymore. The partial quote or a paraphrase that sets up a good quote in the second or third paragraph is a better way. NOT SO GOOD: “Unless there is dramatic improvement in student behavior, we will soon be forced to resort to torture and corporal punishment,” said senior Larry Johnson, who was taking the place of Principal Doris Jones during Student Government Day. BETTER: Senior Larry Johnson decided to add some humor to the otherwise serious business of Student Government Day. So he issued this warning: “Unless there is dramatic improvement in student behavior, we will soon be forced to resort to torture and corporal punishment.”

Anne Whitt

is a 1997-98 Dow Jones Special Recognition Adviser, 1999 Florida Journalism Teacher of the Year and 2000 Distinguished Adviser in JEA’s National Yearbook Adviser of the Year competition. In 2002 NSPA and JEA named her a Pioneer. In 2006 Florida Scholastic Press Association gave her its Medallion. Her column, “Whitt and Wisdom,” may be read without membership at www.Walsworth. com. Go to Resources and then Columns. With her family she also produces a community publication. Whitt can be reached at AWhitt1013@aol. com.


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Adviser UpdAte

Print’s ‘recovery’ too strong a word

Editorial leaders = empowered students black

By StaRR SackStein

T Starr Sackstein, MJE

my own articles, I am responsible for editing my peer’s writing to make them ready for publication,” said Sarah Bianchi, feature editor. “I’ve developed a lot of skills through [newspaper] such as how to become a leader and someone who can speak more easily in front of others. “I teach myself while teaching others by editing my peer’s writing. This job has helped me to learn my mistakes while correcting others which helped my grammar and my writing develop. “I read through their drafts and leave them comments suggesting ways to better the article. I also conference

with some students who need more help. The paper has taught me a new level of dedication and responsibility.” Learning these skills is sometimes tough for adolescents because they don’t want to deal with the conflicts that hierarchies among peers inherently create. They need to develop their own voice and balance positive and negative feedback all while being their staff’s cheerleader. It takes tenacity and patience for the adviser who needs to know when to step back and empower the students more. What advice can we give these

By RichaRd J. Levine

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efore becoming president of the Pew Research Center in 2013, Alan Murray spent 29 years at The Wall Street Journal in a wide range of positions, including Washington bureau chief, deputy managing editor and executive editor. He knows journalism, print and digital, from the inside. To help promote the publication of Pew’s highly regarded annual report on the State of the News Media report, Murray wrote an op-ed piece for the Journal proclaiming the 2014 report contained ”some signs of hope for the news business.” Murray’s conclusion and the fact-filled report have generated intensive discussion and analysis after years of gloomy Pew pronouncements on the decline of the news business in the digital age. Green shoots “‘Recovery’ would be too strong a word for the evidence here,” Murray wrote. “But green shoots are pushing through the permafrost.” Some of the “shoots” he cited are significant hiring for digital newsrooms; sizable investment in legacy media and digital startups by such wealthy businessmen as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, new owner of the Washington Post, and John Henry, purchaser of the Boston Globe; the growing use of mobile devices that is spurring online news consumption; and revenue generation by paywalls for traditional print publishers’ online products. The 11th edition of the Pew report

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Best defense Hiestand said, though, that there are ways to avoid becoming a prior review school.

President’s Perspective

put it this way: “A year ago, the State of the News Media report struck a somber note, citing evidence of continued declines in the mainstream media that were impacting both content and audience satisfaction. Many of these issues still exist, some have deepened and new ones have emerged. “Still, the level of new activity this year is creating a perception that something important, perhaps even game-changing, is going on. If the developments in 2013 are only a drop in the bucket, it feels like a heavier drop than most. The momentum behind them is real, if the full impact on citizens and our news system remains unclear.” Job growth The reason for this carefully hedged optimism is apparent in the section on “The Growth in Digital Reporting,” which attempts to size the news staffs of digital organizations. Using interviews and multiple data bases, it estimates that of 468 digital newsrooms — 30 major ones and 438 smaller ones, most started in the past decade — “have produced almost 5,000 full-time editorial jobs.” Among the largest: the Huffington Post with 575 editorial positions, Politico with 186 and BuzzFeed with 170. However, this upbeat math is followed by a concession that “purely in terms of bodies, the growth in new digital full-time journalism jobs seems

to have compensated for only a modest percentage of the lost legacy jobs in newspaper newsrooms alone in the past decade.” According to the American Society of News Editors, the brutal fact is that newspapers in the United States shed 16,200 full-time newsroom jobs from 2003 to 2012, a 30 percent decline to 38,000. And, as journalists know well, the cutbacks continue as newspaper advertising revenue, down more than 50 percent since the record $49 billion in 2005, keeps shrinking, and publishers keep seeking cost reductions. Less optimism Looking at these and other numbers in the Pew report, news consultant Alan Mutter commented on his website, Reflections of a Newsosaur: “Excuse me for not cheering the renaissance of journalism in the digital era, which I would be pleased to toast if there were one. But the reality is that the businesses that historically have funded local journalism are cutting coverage at the same time that most of the hundreds of new digital entrants are struggling to achieve financial sustainability.” He continues: “While the digital revolution has created unprecedented capabilities for everyone to publish and promote content (which may or may not qualify as journalism), we are a long way from the point that the newcomers are strong enough to

replace the traditional media whose businesses are being challenged by said revolution. So, the State of the News at the moment is, at the very least shaky. If not a little scary.” Obviously, such fears won’t begin to ease for some until there is hard evidence the news business’ decadelong search for new business models to replace print advertising is meeting with success. Other views Yet the optimism these days about the news business and journalism quality isn’t limited to Pew. Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp, which publishes more than 100 newspapers, says print media will play a “crucial role” in the company publishing strategy for many years to come. “We are proud of the print provenance not because we wish to pay homage to the past but because we believe print will have an absolutely crucial role in a multi-platform future,” he said in a speech in Australia. Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist who founded Netscape, goes further. “I am more bullish about the future of the news industry over the next 20 years than almost anyone I know,” he says in an essay on “the future of the news business” published a month before the Pew report. “You are going to see it grow 10X to 100X from where it is today.” “Maybe we are entering into a new golden age of journalism, and we just haven’t recognized it yet.” Another green shoot.

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Richard J. Levine

is president of the board of directors of the Dow Jones News Fund, Inc. Over six decades with Dow Jones & Co., he has served as vice president for news and staff development, executive editor of Dow Jones Newswires, vice president of information services, editorial director of electronic publishing and Washington correspondent and columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He can be reached at richard.levine@ dowjones.com.

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currently works at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, N.Y., as a high school English and journalism teacher and author of “Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective.” This year she begins a new blog with Education Week Teacher called “Work in Progress” in addition to her personal blog, StarrSackstein. com, where she discusses all aspects of being a teacher. Sackstein co-moderates #jerdchat and #sunchat as well as contributes to #NYedChat. This year she has made the Bammy Awards finals for Secondary High School Educator. In speaking engagements, Sackstein speaks about blogging, journalism education and BYOD, helping people see technology doesn’t have to be feared. She can be reached at mssackstein@ yahoo.com.

he metaphorical dust is blowing around the pub lab as my students prepare for the next issue of our school paper to be completed. A frenzy of nervous excitement whirls around while the frightful hushed word, “deadline” is looming. Layout is busy with section leaders breathing over their shoulders and our chief paces with a notebook and exasperated expression. Developing leadership skills in these students is one of the biggest challenges of being adviser, but when selecting editorial staff, there are usually students who stand out. Whether a paper has a committee selection or an interview process in place, applicants generally possess common qualities: they are dedicated, organized, perfectionists who quietly crave the spotlight. It then becomes our obligation to take these already motivated students and turn them into peer leaders and role models. Jessica Destefano, yearbook adviser at World Journalism Preparatory School (WJPS) in Flushing, N.Y., said, “I would say student leaders in yearbook are selfmotivated, creative, responsible and work well with others. Publications help students to forge ahead in the learning process without waiting for instruction; they reward creativity, innovation and attention to detail with a product that puts the “fruit” of these qualities on display for all to see. Publications have empowered my students to envision a larger audience for their work, as opposed to an audience of one — me.” Understanding the innate public nature of publication classes forces students to know that their work does have an audience and judgment is imminent. Student leaders must delicately work with staff about their writing in a way staff will respond and also juggle their assorted responsibilities of being a high school student. “As feature editor, along with writing

ambitious folks to save themselves from the stresses of deadlines and adolescent life? How can we continue to empower them and experience success? How can we teach them that what they want to take on is too much? When is it okay to say no for the benefit of the team? Candace Bowen, assistant professor at Kent State University, teaches a “Theory of Rotational Neglect.” “You can pretty much understand how it works just from the name,” she said, “but I tell them they each have so many responsibilities and obligations that sometimes they just simply can’t get everything done. The AP history research paper is due Monday, sectionals for volleyball are this weekend, your center spread feature deadline is tomorrow … and Mom says your room needs to be cleaned. So, it’s really a matter of prioritizing and putting off something that ISN’T as important as some others. Convince Mom you’ll clean the room first thing Monday night and then stick to it.” The most amazing aspect of editors’ lives is that they are so resilient. News editor Livianette Cabrera said, “I’m more patient now; I’m able to compromise and see other people’s perspectives instead of just my own. I cope with the stress by laughing it off and understanding that not everyone has the same passions as me, and I have to make the best of those circumstances.” Running a successful scholastic paper requires an adviser to let go of her own need to control and make things perfect while allowing student leaders to do their work. If we select our leaders well, then it can be a more rewarding experience for everyone and the benefits to the student are limitless. The swell of pride we all feel when a publication goes before an audience should reflect the work of the team and not just the adviser.

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Adviser UpdAte

“The best defense against censorship is just practicing good journalism,” he said. “Students need to ask themselves, ‘Is this a story that needs to be told? And in telling it, are we doing it in the best possible way?’” Russomanno agreed with Hies-

tand, saying that once students prove that they can write responsibly, most principals will forgo prior review and let the newspaper staff make final decisions — the way a true newsroom is operated. “Try to ensure them that students are practicing quality

journalism, with your guidance,” he said. For more information on censorship and the rights of student journalists, visit splc.org.


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SUMMER 2014

ADVISER UPDATE

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Neshaminy adviser named PSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year T

ara Huber, veteran student publication adviser at Neshaminy HS in Langhorne, Pa., has been named Journalism Teacher of the Year 2014-2015 by the Pa. School Press Tara Huber Association. In recent months the Neshaminy HS student newspaper, The Playwickian, has made state and national news by refusing to compromise on its state-protected right to determine its own publications policy, despite Neshaminy officials and members of the community calling for acquiescence to their demands. Since last October, the editors of The Playwickian have been battling with administrators about whether they

can ban the word “Redskin,” the school mascot, from the paper. Members of The Playwickian’s editorial board voted 14-7 that Redskin was a racial slur and they would not print it. A month later, Principal Rob McGee ordered the ban overturned, saying the editors might violate the First Amendment rights of others by removing the word from their copy. The student journalists subsequently said they would not adhere to McGee’s directive and a law firm jumped into the fray to represent them. The students aren’t the only ones expressing disapproval of the word “Redskins” as a team mascot. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the trademark of the Washington Redskins football team recently, saying the word was a racial

slur. Huber was lauded by PSPA for her courage to support her publications staff throughout the year in the face of overwhelming pressure. Fellow Neshaminy English teacher Dennis Howie, in nominating Huber for the award, said that such support was “hardly new for Tara, for she championed the students’ First Amendment rights during her long tenure as adviser to The Playwickian.” Huber is completing her 14th year as adviser. Dr. Jane Blystone, professor at Mercyhurst University and longtime Pennsylvania student journalism expert, in her nomination of Huber, said, “Tara is a leader in our state for quality student publications. She supports her students insisting

on their First Amendment rights. Great advisers stand up under the duress of challenge as Tara has. We are honored to know her, and we support her work in promoting quality journalism in Pennsylvania.” Robert Hankes, PSPA president, called her “a patriot for student expression and the Pa. School Code – a hero among us.” Huber has influenced every aspect of English instruction over the past decade at Neshaminy, everything from working on numerous committees to teaching summer school. She’s also spent the past 10 years teaching English part-time at Today Inc., a substance abuse program She holds a master’s degree in education from Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Lehigh University. Huber will be formally recognized by PSPA at its Student Journalism Competition Oct. 15, 2014, at Temple University.

Remembering ...

James Tidwell: ‘We were a part of his family’ By Stan Zoller

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llinois journalism has lost an iconic friend. Not just collegiate journalism. The entire journalism community as a whole. James Tidwell, chairman of the James Tidwell Department of Journalism at Eastern Illinois and former executive director of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (IJEA), died April 12 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 65. “James worked with high school journalism from his earliest years as a professional, but the fact is that his love of high school journalism started with his experiences as a high school journalist in Oklahoma,” said Sally Renaud, IJEA executive director and professor of Journalism at EIU. Tidwell joined EIU in 1987, becoming department chair in 2005. Prior to joining EIU, he taught journalism at Indiana University Southeast from 1978-87 and at Tulsa (Okla.) Junior College from 1973-78. From 1969-73 he was a reporter and editor for several daily newspapers in Oklahoma. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in journalism and government from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Tidwell held a juris doctor degree from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. “He always talked fondly of his own high school adviser and her tremendous

influence on his career, which included work on his campus newspaper and for professional newspapers,” Renaud said. “He has used his respect for his adviser and the passion she helped instill in him at an early age as motivating forces in his career in regards to high school journalism.” Tidwell was executive secretary of the Illinois Journalism Education Association from 1989-2005 when he stepped down because of his additional duties as department chair. “He always made those of us who had the privilege of serving on the IJEA board feel as though we were a part of his family,” said IJEA President Sarah Doerner. “It will be difficult to imagine IJEA without him.” The IJEA has renamed its annual Educator of the Year in Tidwell’s honor as the “Dr. James Tidwell IJEA Educator of the Year” Award. “James was often called upon to offer his expertise and advice in such areas as prior review, copyright and libel. I often heard him on the phone with high school advisers who sought his counsel, who asked his advice on a concern or problem in their school,” Renaud said. Longtime journalism educator and IJEA Board member Randy Swikle said “In the mid-1990s, no one worked harder on state legislation defining scholastic press rights in Illinois than James.” “I know,” Swikle said, “because I was at his side as he lobbied from office to office in the Capitol building. Hundreds of hours were spent devising strategy and campaigning for HB 156. At day’s end, the House passed the legislation 109-4, and the Senate approved 57-0. Unfortunately, the governor unexpectedly vetoed the bill.” Swikle calls Tidwell “a First Amendment expert” whose book “Press Law in Illinois” is considered a standard reference for professional journalists. Tidwell is survived by his wife, Muriel Everton, also a professor at Eastern, whom he married in 1991; his father, Ray Tidwell, and his stepmother, Bette Chasteen Tidwell, Moore, Okla.; his sister, Phyllis Foree and brother-in-law Roger Foree, Pasadena, Texas.

ost your state, regional or P national association’s activities in Adviser Roundup by dropping editor George Taylor (GTay200@ verizon.net) a line with your information. Photos with captions from events are welcome. Next deadline is Sept. 1.

CORRECTION

In our spring issue we incorrectly identified the Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism as the Oklahoma Institute for Journalism Diversity. Our thanks to Bill Elsen for gently pointing out our error.

CSPA

TEACHER TALK — Journalism teaching was the topic of discussion among Jim Streisel, 2013 DJNF National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, Nick Ferentinos, 1994 Teacher of the Year, and Helen Smith, director of the New England Scholastic Press Association. The trio had all been speakers at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s 90th Spring Convention and gathered for a reception March 20 at the nearby home of Robert and Carol Greenman. Update photo by Logan Aimone

similar circumstances. Judges are experienced journalists and educators familiar with the context surrounding student journalism as produced in schools and colleges. In recent years, more than 15,000 entries have been submitted for this annual competition and about 1,200 awards were given in the various categories. Gold Circle Awards were first given in 1984, following a long tradition of CSPA awards for individual achievement by student journalists.

FLORIDA

The University of Florida’s Summer Journalism Institute doubled in enrollment this summer. More than 200 students from throughout the country (and one from Japan) gathered in Gainesville for a week of learning about multimedia journalism, social media, law, storytelling and much more. UF’s Steve Johnson served as director of the Institute. FSPA honored Wayne Garcia and Wendy Wallace with its Gold Medallion award for service to the organization. Garcia is FSPA’s executive director and an instructor at the University of South Florida. Wallace directs Poynter’s high school journalism outreach efforts.

ILLINOIS

Mike Doyle of Belvidere North HS received the James A. Tidwell Award for high school advising at a breakfast May 2 at Eastern Illinois University. Principals Marc Eckmann of Belvidere North and Michele Sinclair of Mattoon were named Administrators of the Year.

The All-State Journalism Team Luncheon was held June 7 at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, with keynote speaker Dann Gire, film critic and an Illinois and JEA Friend of Scholastic Journalism as the keynote speaker. The team was Gabrielle Abesamis, Niles West HS, adviser Evelyn Lauer; Holly Baldacci, Huntley HS, adviser Dennis Brown; Nick Boose, Kaneland HS, adviser Kimberly Reese; Michael Glick, University-Chicago HS, adviser Wayne Brasler; Nabi Dressler, Prospect HS, adviser Jason Block; Sarah Foster, Mattoon HS, adviser Amanda Bright; McKensie Harrison, Cisne HS, adviser Trudy Hurd; Jessica Lynk, John Hersey HS, adviser Janet Levin; Rachel Mueller, Okawville HS, adviser Dana Donovan; Walker Post, Lane Tech HS, adviser Seth Johnson; Kelly Reilley, Belvidere North HS, adviser Mike Doyle; and Katarina Weber, Elk Grove HS, adviser Alissa Prendergast. Also Walker Post and Sarah Foster were honored as Illinois Journalist of the Year and Runner Up respectively. Barry Locher, director of the Illinois Press Foundation, hosted the event, which was sponsored by the Illinois Journalism Education Association, Sarah Doerner DuQuin, president.

JEA

JEA is seeking applicants for the second phase of its ongoing curriculum initiative, which involves leading a national journalism professional learning community and maintaining full-fledged curriculum materials. If you are interested in applying for a curriculum leader position, more information and the leader leader application are available at jea.

org. JEA has made changes to the application deadlines for those seeking Certified Journalism Educator or Master Journalism Educator status. Those wanting to take the test or be recognized at the fall convention must have the application submitted by Sept. 1. Those wanting to take the test or be recognized at the spring convention must have the application submitted by Feb. 1. If a test is to be given at a site other than a convention, the applications must be in eight weeks prior to the test date. The JEA Write-offs team is seeking volunteers to help judge and critique design contests ahead of the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-9. Critiques are completed online over the two-week period prior to the convention. Judges are not required to attend the convention. Questions can be directed to Writeoffs chair Nancy Smith, (nysmithjea@gmail. com) to volunteer. Nominations are being accepted for the annual JEA fall awards: Administrator of the Year, Carl Towley Award, Friend of Scholastic Journalism, Lifetime Achievement Award and Medal of Merit. In addition, middle school students at least 13 years old may apply for the Aspiring Young Journalist Award, and college upperclassmen and graduate students may apply for Future Teacher Scholarships. New application forms have been posted online at jea.org. All award nominations are to be submitted digitally.

See ROUNDUP on page 22A

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“James was a truly exceptional person — knowledgeable, bright, savvy, always saw the big picture. Always kind to people; I’d watch people come up to him at conferences to introduce themselves and he would give each and every person full attention. To say he was charming is putting it mildly; he had charm and style to spare. I am so happy the Educator award is being named in his honor.” Wayne Brasler “We lost a dear friend who taught us all so much — and that will be his invaluable legacy.” Candace Perkins Bowen “Not only has the journalism world lost a friend and supporter, but the world has lost a true gentleman. I have always been proud to say that James was my friend, colleague and mentor.” Tom Winski “He led us as we tried to establish a freedom of expression law for high school students in Illinois. He inspired us … always. We shall miss him, but we know we are better for having had him in our lives.” Susan Tantillo

Teacher Talk

ROUNDUP SUMMER 2014

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association has several key deadlines coming up for both the fall conference and the Gold Circle Awards. The 2104 Conference will take place on Monday, Nov. 3, at Columbia University’s historic Morningside Heights campus in Manhattan. Sessions will cover all aspects of student publishing. Advisers are welcome to attend sessions with students. In addition, some sessions will be organized for advisers only. The program is rich and varied with experienced advisers and journalists serving as session leaders. Session topics will include writing and editing, staff organization and motivation, design and layout, suggestions for special areas of coverage, and legal and ethical concerns for advisers and editors. The officers of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association (CSPAA) will consult with faculty advisers about specific concerns and problems regarding the publication of newspapers, magazines and yearbooks. Registration forms and payment information are available at http://cspa.columbia.edu. The deadline for advance registration is by Oct. 24. The CSPA Gold Circle Awards are offered to recognize superior work by student journalists usually as individuals but sometimes as an entire staff working with either print or online media. The deadline for Yearbooks and Digital Media is Oct.10, 2014. Eligibility for these categories is Nov. 2, 2013 through Oct.10, 2014. Your publication must have a CSPA membership to enter the Gold Circle Awards. There are 204 different categories to enter. Award certificates are sent to all winners. Secondary schools are judged separately from colleges and universities so that each student’s work is evaluated against others produced in

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KEMPA

Spring: Judges evaluated nearly 20 applications for scholarships to graduating seniors from Kettle Moraine Press Association publications. Four winners will each receive $500 toward their first year at college. The winners are Gabrielle Abesamis, Niles West (Ill.) HS; Michala Meyerhofer, Fort Atkinson (Wis.) HS; Joseph Salvato, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) HS; and Kimberly Wethal, Stoughton (Wis.) HS. Summer: Summer Journalism Workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater featured Joe Koshollek teaching photojournalism; April van Buren, yearbook; Carolyn Wagner, student media leadership; Patrick Johnson, publication design; Mike Doyle, writing and reporting; Emily Cody, literary magazine; Evelyn Lauer, digital and social journalism; and Linda Barrington, student media advisers. Fall: Fall Journalism Conference will be Oct. 17 at UW-Whitewater. More than 1,000 students and advisers attend this yearly event where they can choose from dozens of presentations at each of three time slots. Publication critiques and awards are handed out first thing in the morning. Sandy Jacoby is the long-time director of this event. KEMPA also holds its annual meeting at the luncheon where board members will be elected for next year.

NESPA

ADVISER UPDATE

ADVISER UPDATE

SUMMER 2014

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The Long Weekend

THE LONG WEEKEND — Seventy-five middle and high school students from 10 states joined the Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s The Long Weekend summer camp June 13-15 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The camp is designed to teach creative and efficient ways to

Florida Honorees

communicate through scholastic newspapers, newsmagazines, yearbooks, literary magazines, broadcast programs and electronic media. It allowed students to enjoy a taste of college life and invigorate their interest in scholastic media. Update photo courtesy of Meredith Cummings

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FLORIDA HONOREES — When the Florida Scholastic Press Association handed out awards at its April convention, one school district was especially pleased with the results. FSPA’s top awards all went to Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa. From left: Student Journalist of the year runner-up Liz Tsourakis of Hillsborough HS; Student Journalist of the Year William Harvey of King HS (adviser Christine Munoz); Journalism Teacher of the Year Joe Humphrey of Hillsborough HS; Emerging Young Journalist Isabel Hanewicz of Robinson HS (adviser Jill Burns). Update photo courtesy of Joe Humphrey

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The New England Scholastic Press Association will sponsor three main events in the coming year: • a fall workshop on essentials of news, feature and sports writing Oct. 24[ • a special fall contest on localizing with a deadline set for Jan. 9, 2015; and • its 67th annual conference May 1, 2015. The fall workshop and the annual conference will both be at Boston University’s College of Communication. At this past spring’s conference May 2, 46 sessions were on the program. The keynote speaker was John Tlumacki, the Boston Globe photojournalist whose pictures of last year’s Marathon are known around the world. Among other session topics were online coverage, news writing, investigative reporting, editorials and columns, sports writing, design, advertising sales, and how to develop literary magazines. Speakers included College of Communication faculty, journalism professionals, and high school advisers and staff members.

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Tracy Marcello, CJE,

has a degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University. She is the marketing and communication coordinator for Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo., and previously worked as adviser of two high school publications — both of which were subject to prior review and prior restraint. Her students and their publications have been recognized by FSPA, CHSPA, JEA and NSPA, most recently with a Pacemaker Finalist nomination. She can be reached at marcello.tracy@ gmail.com.

“Even when journalism is properly done, it’s going to ruffle some feathers,” he said. “That’s when journalism is done at its best.” Still, many principals don’t want to ruffle even one feather over a studentwritten story. In a survey conducted among 27 high school journalism advisers, 37 percent said that their principal either practiced prior review or prior restraint of the school’s publication. Annandale, Va. HS newspaper adviser Alan Weintraut vividly remembers the one instance in his 20-year teaching career when a principal confronted his staff, after they had written a story about an off-campus stabbing involving a student at the school. “He said, ‘From now on, I want to see the paper.’ And I said, ‘That’s not my policy and that’s not my students’ policy.’” Since then, Weintraut’s students have never been subject to prior review by an administrator, though he reads all of their stories before publication. “[Principals] can control the newspaper the day [they] go down to the sidelines and call plays,” he said.

Neshaminy students challenge tradition E

ditors of Neshaminy HS’s student newspaper, The Playwickian, can no longer ban the use of “Redskin” — the school’s mascot nickname — in editorials or letters to the editor. Neshaminy School Board members voted 8-1 June 26 on what the administration calls a compromise policy which allows student editors to remove the word from news stories, but not opinion pieces. Playwickian managing editor Jack Haines said he also objects to policy points that allow the principal to censor the paper for “any reasonable reason” and another that prevents the paper from endorsing a political candidate. “It essentially boils down to an administrator being able to censor for any reason he deems reasonable,” Haines said. Editors at the school located in Langhorn, Pa., voted last October to ban the use of the mascot’s name because they said “Redskin” is a racial slur and thus offensive to Native Americans. Following student editors’ ban of the controversial word, editorial boards of the Bucks County Courier Times and its sister papers, The Intelligencer and Burlington County Times, approved a similar policy. On June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office voted to cancel the NFL’s Washington Redskins trademarks, considering them “disparaging to Native Americans.” When a student wrote an opinion piece disagreeing with the editors’ policy, the newspaper staff agreed to publish it, but would only run the offending word as “R_______,” just as their professional counterparts do with other racially charged words. “Astonishingly, that wasn’t good enough for the school administration, which suggested not using the full word violated the complaining student’s First Amendment rights,” writes Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center. “Does that mean all epithets are fair game? And what about a letter questioning the administration’s competence? Is that also a must-run?” In early June, students published their last edition of the school year without prior approval in a dispute over a letter written by the son of a school board member using the nickname. Instead of publishing the letter with the nickname as they were told to do by the principal, they printed an editor’s note explaining their position why they could not run the letter. The next week, the board introduced the revised policy and Principal Robert McGee told Playwickian adviser Tara Huber to change the passwords on the newspaper’s social media accounts and website. Instead, Huber decided to delete the Facebook and Twitter accounts, McGee said. Matt Schafer, the students’ attorney, said he thought the district violated the students’ First Amendment rights with the ultimatum, and also with a confiscation of a disputed number of the newspapers after they were printed. “Student editors are as free as other editors to report and editorialize the news,” he said. “We’re definitely not just going to sit back and let this happen,” co-editor-in-chief Gillian McGoldrick said after the meeting. “There are so many things that are wrong with this.” McGoldrick, Schafer and the other editors said they would have to discuss their next step now that the policy has passed. Ken Paulson’s commentary, “Young Americans have free-speech rights, too,” appears at www.firstamendmentcenter.org. Michael Macagnone of the Bucks County Courier Times (Pa.) did the original reporting on the school board vote. Content reprinted with his permission.

sion statement charges us with creating,” McHale said. “I believe there is nowhere else in the school where this happens.” Advisers like McHale continue to fight for the rights of their students in an effort to breed responsible, ethical and fact-seeking journalists — the

kind that aren’t afraid of the truth. And while some won’t go to the same lengths as McHale, most still promote controversial writing and all that it entails. Adviser’s role Arizona Daily Star editorial writer and

columnist Sarah Gassen emphasized the role of advisers during a presentation at the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University June 19. “What are we teaching them if we say, ‘Don’t ask tough questions because a grown-up’s feelings might get hurt’?” she asked the group of 35 middle and high school journalism teachers attending RJI. “Please tell them not to give up, because principals don’t have that control forever.” Gassen’s advice to students writing at a prior review school is to seek other outlets for controversial stories, including local newspapers and social media websites. “They are doing important things and they need to keep doing [them], even if [their story] doesn’t get published,” she said. SPLC help For students who continue to face challenges by administration, the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is willing to offer free advice and representation for cases involving censorship. Former SPLC staff attorney Mike Hiestand has provided legal assistance to nearly 15,000 high school and college student journalists and their advisers. His advice to advisers struggling with censorship is to allow the students to dictate how they want to proceed. “Have a talk with the students at the beginning of the year and tell them that they need to stand up and talk to the principal — it’s the student newspaper,” he said in a presentation at RJI June 21. “The adviser’s legal protection is not great when you’re sitting there fighting with administration.” And while Hiestand understands the anxieties of the administrators, he continues to assist student media and partake in special projects through SPLC to ensure students are getting the journalistic freedom they deserve. “There is such fear out there,” he said. “This media, for whatever reason, just scares the heck out of administrators.”

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Causing the right kind of trouble By Francisco Vara-orta

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ll I ever dreamed for when I wanted to become a journalist is to work at my hometown paper someday, writing about topics that I felt the community could benefit from knowing more about. The Dow Jones News Fund and Urban Journalism Workshop helped me first taste this dream by kickstarting my career, where, spoiler alert, my journey took 10 years to get back to that place in San Antonio. But I first reached for my dream thanks to this program, which ignited an inner fire to be a journalist. Programs like these are needed more than ever as it’s harder to get printed in the newspaper world as the old model is changing, budgets are shrinking for development and recruiting programs, and diversity isn’t always high on all hiring managers’ list of priorities. I was blessed to realize that I had an interest in journalism in my pre-teen years. My sister had been in the Urban Journalism Workshop when she was in high school and also worked on her school newspaper, and I looked up to her. We both attended Catholic schools where, despite it being a private school, money was tight. So when I ran for student council, surprisingly won against the popular jock as I was a bookish nerd, and realized I couldn’t actually fund fixing the drinking water fountains as I promised on the campaign, I had to come up with a Plan B. “Let’s start a newspaper.” Mind you, it was a humble, scrappy production made in Microsoft Word, but it got the students engaged and that made me see how a bunch of inner-city kids could get together and do something fun and meaningful where we felt like we had a voice. I still think that’s what journalism can do for

Scholastic Profile

any group of people. But it was the summer when I turned 17, about to start my senior year in high school, that the DJNF’s Urban Journalism Workshop changed my life. My mother, a gift shop cashier who could have been an assignment editor in her own right, suggested kids were getting bombarded with too much advertising. I took mental inventory and noticed the trend. I pitched the story and was assigned it. I had to interview top officials for the first time outside my school. Someone hung up on me for the first time and another gave me my first “no comment.” I got kicked out of a sports camp for our local NBA team because they knew I was going to ask about corporate sponsors and if kids there in the camp had a reaction to the advertising. No smoking signs oriented to kids were faded, corporate food brand logos were emblazoned vibrantly everywhere. I ended up getting to work with top-notch reporters and editors from

my local paper, all of whom are still doing amazing things and are beside me today. They taught me the right way to cause the right kind of trouble, and that was energizing for this meek Catholic schoolboy who had little inner confidence then and was scared to ruffle any feathers. I ended up getting the lead story for the workshop’s single newspaper, printed in the San Antonio ExpressNews, my hometown’s major daily. The city’s second largest paper hired me as a reporter instead of the paperboy job I applied for based on my article in the workshop. I also won the workshop’s top prize, a $1,000 scholarship to any college. I am the first to go to college in my family and it helped fund attending a four-year private university, St. Mary’s University, where I helped re-start its student newspaper, The Rattler. And at UJW, I met my best friend, Denise, who started the college newspaper with me and has been a rock in my life ever since then. Looking back, the whole UJW experience was a microcosm of the beauty of what I think journalism

represents. We won over 125 awards during the four years I was editor of the college paper, and I landed internships at the Laredo Morning Times and Austin American-Statesman. I also worked two years at the Los Angeles Times as a reporter, two years as a business reporter at two publications in Los Angeles and Austin and then returned home in 2011 to write about education for the Express-News. There were bumps, and sleepless nights where I wondered if I was doing the right thing by devoting myself to journalism, but I have seen many achieve balance in their lives as a journalist and bounce back from layoffs (as I did at the L.A. Times). So I just follow those inspiring examples. I’m always learning. But I do know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Urban Journalism Workshop and the Dow Jones News Fund. It was truly my big break and will be for many students who believe in journalism. Keep on keepin’ on.

Francisco Vara-Orta

is an education reporter for the San Antonio ExpressNews. A native of San Antonio and graduate of St. Mary’s University, he has worked for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Business Journal, Austin Business Journal and La Prensa de San Antonio. His work has also appeared in the Austin AmericanStatesman, Houston Chronicle and Laredo Morning Times. He serves as president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists, serves on the Education Writers Association’s Journalist Advisory Board and is a 2013 Society of Professional Journalists’ Diversity Fellow. He can be reached by phone at 210250-3247 or via email at fvaraorta@express-news. net.

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No obligation And though this rule may make sense to advisers, many administrators still argue that they are obligated under Hazelwood to read and censor articles. In fact, Hazelwood does not require prior review by principals; it only allows it.) Most recently, Hunterdon (N.J.) Central Regional HS adviser Tom McHale resigned after 10 years of advising the student newspaper The Lamp, as soon as his principal began practicing prior review. “Prior review removes the responsibility from student journalists and puts it into the hands of the administration,” McHale said in an article published for the Student Press Law Center on June 7. “While some may see this as protecting students, in reality, it keeps students from practicing to become the ethical citizens the school’s mis-

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NEwS FUND ADvISER UPDATE n who are we? The Dow Jones News Fund, a nonprofit foundation supported by the Dow Jones Foundation and other newspaper companies, encourages young people to consider journalism careers. n Adviser Update’s mission Adviser Update, a newsletter published by the Dow Jones News Fund for high school journalism teachers and publications advisers, is a free quarterly serving the inexperienced as well as the veteran. It will be the seminal free resource for these educators, a clearinghouse of practical, topical information. n Contacting the News Fund Mail: P.O. Box 300, Princeton, NJ 08543-0300 Phone: 609-452-2820 Fax: 609-520-5804 E-mail: djnf@dowjones.com n News Fund staff Linda Shockley, deputy director Diane Cohn, director of finance n Contacting Adviser Update Please address all news items to George Taylor, Adviser Update editor. Mail: 200 North Lehigh St., Tamaqua, PA 18252 Phone: 570-668-4451 E-mail: GTay200@verizon.net

Copyright © 2014 Dow Jones News Fund, Inc.

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Neshaminy students challenge tradition Page 2A

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heel Prior review high schools breeding new generation of fearful journalists

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ver see the State Farm commercial in which a young woman believes everything on the Internet is true, including that her dumpy date is a French model? That’s Mariel Booth, a model and actress living in Los Angeles who went to Northern HS in Calvert County, Maryland. This spread is one in a series created for the school’s 40th anniversary that looked at successful alumni in different careers. Aside from Booth, students contacted alumni in law enforcement, fire departments, the military and other professions to look at the impact Northern grads have had on their world.

Gary Clites, adviser

The Patriot Press Northern HS, Owings, Md. gclites@comcast.net

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n 1988, an article about divorce and teenage pregnancy was censored from The Spectrum student newspaper at Hazelwood East HS in St. Louis, Mo. Twenty-five years later, student journalists still wonder: will my story be next? Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier stunted the freedom of young reporters by giving school principals the ability to review and restrain articles printed in school-sponsored publications. Though articles must meet one of five criteria to be subject to censorship (they can’t be libelous, for instance), some principals choose to review all content prior to publication. “I get angry about Hazelwood to this day,” First Amendment Center President and CEO Ken Paulson said. “I wish I could turn back the clock.” And while many principals exercise their right to review articles, most do not understand the implications of their actions.

“Young people who don’t have the right to freedom of the press don’t embark on their careers with robust appreciation [for their freedom],” Paulson said. Today, a generation of reporters will graduate high school without ever having practiced their right to free speech and press, creating a pool of applicants ill-prepared for careers in journalism. Freedom critical Joseph Russomanno is an associate professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Since his transition from the newsroom to the classroom in 1994, Russomanno has taught his students that the First Amendment is a critical component of good journalism. “If you are teaching high school students how to be journalists, lesson one is the free nature of it,” he said.

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n Update George Taylor, editor Kathleen Zwiebel, design Mary Kay Davis and Elsa Kerschner, production

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n Editorial reprints/permissions, subscriptions, back issues To be placed on the Adviser Update mailing list, to report a change of address, to order reprints of articles or to obtain permission to use any part of Adviser Update, contact Linda Shockley at the News Fund at 609452-2820 or linda.shockley@dowjones. com.

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n Article submissions, story ideas Adviser Update welcomes story ideas and articles from its readers. Some articles are reprints from other publications in the field of scholastic journalism. Original articles should be between 400 and 600 words in length and on topics of importance or interest to Update’s targeted audience. Articles can be sent to George Taylor via e-mail (word, RTF or text file). Color photos (high resolution jpegs) or PDF graphics are welcome. Authors must include a paragraph biography and a color mug shot. Copy and graphics can also be sent to the editor on CDs. writers are paid based on the depth of the article, accompanying artwork and placement in the publication. Please address all news items to: George Taylor, Adviser Update editor. Mail: 200 North Lehigh St., Tamaqua, PA 18252 Phone: 570-668-4451 E-mail: GTay200@verizon.net

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Editorial: When one publication is threatened, we are all threatened BY THE FOOTHILL DRAGON PRESS EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD

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lishment. Apathy and ignorance towards the world around them is something the Millennial generation of high school students is constantly criticized for, but as soon as a courageous group of students stands up, they are knocked down, undermining what it means to have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. We also fear that this policy would have the power to climb from county law to state law, or even federal law, in the blink of an eye. In 1983, a student paper in St. Louis County, Mo., planned to publish a large section in the paper about teen pregnancy. The night before the issue was printed, the school’s principal decided that the spread would jeopardize the identity of the students in it and pulled it from the issue. This dispute made its way up to the Supreme Court, and the ruling was heartbreaking for advocates of student press rights. Because of this case, better known as Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, school administrators in most states have the right to censor school publications, and it was made clear that students do in fact shed some of their free speech rights as soon as they walk onto a school campus. The Neshaminy policy could easily turn into another Hazelwood, weakening the already feeble defense student journalists have in regards to their freedom of speech. Some may ask why it is so important to protect student journalists and the right they have to a free press. The answer is simpler than some may think. A free press ensures the future of the country as a democratic and uncorrupted state. No matter what page in America’s long history one flips to, there was always a journalist there to keep the central powers in check. Someone there to ask the tough questions that no one had the courage to utter. Someone to point out the mistakes and injustices taking place that everyone seemed keen to ignore. Someone to inform the public when the government would inform no one. Whether it be the Muckrakers of the late 1800s, those covering the atrocities of the Vietnam War, or the pair of journalists who uncovered the Watergate Scandal, journalists have always been there. However, a free press doesn’t begin in the professional world. It begins in high school, where the small flame of integrity within students is fanned to produce a mighty blaze of truth. This is why it is crucial to groom a new generation of journalists, just as curious and outspoken as the last. We ask the members of the Neshaminy High School Board to consider the deep-set ramifications of this new policy. Freedom of speech is important. It is the duty of the older generation to teach this to their young, to empower their young, and to inform their young on what the true meaning of democracy is.

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Commentary The situation that inspired this editorial did

not seem directly relevant to editors at the Foothill Dragon Press at first. Fortunate to publish in a state with some of the strongest student press rights in the nation, the Dragon Press has co-existed positively for five years with school and district administrators, who have never asked for prior review or requested that content be removed from the online-only publication. When informed of the situation in Langhorne, Pa., on May 2, Foothill’s student editors could hardly imagine the egregious actions of the Neshaminy School Board, who sought to enact new policy requiring student publications to publish an ethnic slur when submitted in ads and letters. Once the facts became known, however, the Dragon Press did not hesitate to get involved and show their support because they felt empathy for their peers across the country. The editor in chief gave gave up the Sunday before AP exams to the research, write and edit “When one publication is threatened, we all are threatened.” The 10-member editorial board voted unanimously to publish the editorial online on May 4 and to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about the situation. The next morning, editors from the Playwickian staff expressed gratitude to the Dragon Press in comments beneath the article and on Twitter. That afternoon, Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, stated the editorial was “itself the best attestation to the value of uncensored journalism,” and the SPLC quoted it and linked it in an article about the Neshaminy controversy on its website. Additionally, Jane Blystone of the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Making a Difference project, requested the editorial be submitted for publication. Using editorial privilege to add a strong, rational voice to an escalating threat is an act of leadership. Canela Lopez, editor in chief of the Dragon Press, said: “I feel like writing the editorial gave us the credibility we need as future journalists who speak out against injustice.” Melissa Wantz, adviser Foothill Dragon Press Foothill Technology HS Ventura, Calif.

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SHOCK — As students gathered on the school track after being evacuated from Arapahoe HS, seniors Lily Boettcher and Anna Sutterer hug classmates and teammates. Karl Pierson, an Arapahoe student, fatally wounded Clair Davis, a fellow classmate at the Centennial, Colo., school Dec. 13, 2013. Davis died Dec. 21, 2013. Update photos by Jenny Romley, Arapahoe Herald staff

EDITORIAL LEADERSHIP BY JACK KENNEDY

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What does leadership look like when the nightmare happens?

here are relatively few opportunities for students to make their voices heard, for young leaders to change the world just a little bit. That is why we should treasure the opinion sections of our news publications and websites. This package finaled just days after an Oregon high school became the 74th school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, which added poignancy to the leadership that The Arapahoe Herald, led by adviser Greg Anderson and editor-in-chief Maggie Hurlbut, showed since December 2013. Greg and Maggie would be the first to point out that what the Herald (and the Calumet yearbook) did in helping heal a traumatized school was a team effort. But I hope Maggie will forgive me for highlighting her unique contributions, including both a staff editorial and her leadership in the media department’s special 40-page magazine published in April. The cover and two photos are at left. When I reached out to nearly a dozen advisers across the country for examples of staff editorials that made a difference this past year, I did not specify particular topics, but the zeitgeist brought us four editorials that are related to school security and school violence. School security is only one theme, however. This package of staff editorials concludes with two terrific pieces published in online-only student media, a reminder that editorial leadership is not confined to paper. There were several other terrific editorials that we don’t have space to include, to my sorrow. Despite the wonderful examples of staff editorials here, I am a little worried that such efforts are becoming an endangered species. There is a lot of pressure on student media to not be provocative, to not take strong stances on issues, to keep the focus on the good news. I see a lot of news publications from across the nation, and a growing number appear to have dropped the staff editorial completely. Can it be true that our schools need less leadership than they did in the past? Can it be true that obviously talented and aware students don’t have strong opinions about their schools and their communities? As we begin a promising new school year, I suggest that we re-dedicate ourselves to sharing our idealism, our insights and our talents with our readers. The world needs strong, considered leadership. What better place to look than in our pages and websites?

See additional Arapahoe Herald coverage on page 2B

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he freedom of students attending Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa., will hang in the balance on Tuesday evening, as Neshaminy School Board members vote to revise district policy to force student editors to publish content with a word that they have determined is racially offensive. Student journalists of the Playwickian, the high school’s paper, published an editorial in October condemning the use of the school’s mascot name, the “Redskins.” Similar to the criticism faced by the “Washington Redskins” football team, the staff of the Playwickian criticized the school’s continued use of the word, which they find to be blatantly racist. As an act of sensitivity and professionalism the staff voted to no longer use the “R-word” when publishing articles about the high school’s teams. A short time later, three professional publications in the area followed suit, also passing policy against using the term in video reports and articles about Neshaminy and the professional football team. Playwickian editors wrote, “If racist institutions had remained in other areas of society simply because they were time-honored traditions, America would be a vastly different place.” The Neshaminy High School administration was not pleased. On Tuesday, April 29, a school board committee recommended new policy that would force the Playwickian to use the school’s official team name in advertisements and letters to the editor. In defense of this new policy, the school’s administration and community members have expressed that the term “Redskins” is not offensive and is a source of school pride. The Foothill Dragon Press Editorial Review Board has voted 10-0 in support of the rights of the staff of the Playwickian to reject editorial and advertising content that they deem offensive. We believe that the “R-word” promotes a Social Darwinist ideology and strongly urge the Neshaminy School Board to reconsider limiting these students’ freedom of speech. Because language constantly evolves, control of its use by the government is senseless. A different “R-word,” once considered acceptable to describe the mentally disabled, also fell out of favor as communities became aware of the word’s bigotry and the sorrow it elicits. Publications should be given the freedom to adapt to changing morals, and not be chained to standards of the past. If passed, the detriments brought on by this new policy will be large and plentiful. The message that would be sent to the students is one of disregard and mistrust; the disregard of these students’ views and their right to free speech, and the mistrust held

by school board members for high school students and their ability to use good judgement. This mistrust will not only discourage students from speaking their mind on issues that affect them in high school, but set a precedent that if they do choose to stand up in the face of injustice, they will be forced to take a seat by the estab-

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But things are different now. Really. They are.

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For years the parents of teenagers have listened to this lamenting, rolling their eyes and reminding their children that, back in the day, they had to walk to school, uphill both ways, through some of the largest blizzards the state has ever seen. It is a repeating cycle, the circle of high school life. Note the change in rhythm, the control of language. Can we make use of a one-word sentence?

While it is easy to blow off any complaints regarding an overburdening workload as a generic viewpoint of the teenage generation, undoubtedly there is another aspect to this story.

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Now more than ever the intense focus required for six hours of classes followed by multiple hours of homework seems virtually impossible to summon from within.

A key to most successful persuasive essays is including concessions or limitations in the argument. If it is worth writing about, there is more to the issue than simple statements of agreed upon fact.

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Even three months after Dec. 13, the repercussions can still be felt in every classroom, hallway, and within each student. Rather than being distracted by our computers, sidetracked by our cell phones, or diverted by television as previous generations may have been, it is often our own thoughts that distract us and keep us from being completely focused in class or at home.

As we try to identify exactly what our “new normal” looks like, we implore our teachers to have mercy on us, as well as on yourselves.

When you add in tests, homework, essays and reading assignments the stress begins to consume, grades can drop, and motivation disappears.

We are still interested in learning, we want a good education but we need more in-class and less out-of-class work. Right now it’s too much. Right now, our in-school work and out-of-school lives are suffering. We don’t want one rough semester to tank our GPAs.

Lighten your load too. Try new things and approaches. Mix things up. The old routine is hard. Why not read out loud in class or throw in a movie?

Things are different now. Really. They are. For you and for us.

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Terrific movement here to invite teachers themselves to acknowledge their own pain, their own tendency to want to buckle down and force normalcy to return.

The repetition of the staccato rhythm introduced earlier brings the editorial to a satisfying conclusion, or call to action.

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Before the “new normal” we were able to crank out an essay in a night, but now we need more time. Ask students whether they need extensions. We are often afraid to speak up in fear that we may be the only one experiencing difficulty.

Interestingly, as this editorial builds momentum, the focus on faculty as the prime audience sharpens things. Formal writing tends to avoid “you.” But this editorial has built to a personal plea for compromise, for everyone to simply recognize the lingering unease and psychological exhaustion of many students.

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We know that you spend hours on the nights and weekends planning lessons and grading, and certainly you experienced the same trauma as students.

The writer is attempting to give voice to the prevailing mood of her fellow students, so she opts here to move from third person to first person plural. She is writing on behalf of the editorial board, so first person singular is not appropriate. She uses the “editorial we.”

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We are not asking for a free pass, we understand that teachers too have things to accomplish, and may be feeling just as overwhelmed as students do. So make it easy on yourselves. Lighten up.

The “news peg” for this editorial is so much a part of AHS life that all that is necessary is to include the date. Readers get it.

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Most everyone is still on edge. Slammed lockers or dropped textbooks can send many people over the edge. People running through the hallways can send students right back to moments of fear and that anxiety is enough to wear anyone out.

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For years teenagers have been complaining about their workloads. For years teachers have been shrugging off these complaints as typical teenage grievances.

We still may not know exactly what is it we are feeling or experiencing, but our minds are caught up in the experience of feeling something.

advised for 30 years before “retiring” in 2010. He was the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year in 1993, among other state and national honors. His students earned National Pacemaker awards 11 times at The Little Hawk in Iowa City, Iowa, and once at The Rock, Rock Canyon HS, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He served in various positions on the Journalism Education Association board over the past two decades. He is now executive director of the Colorado High School Press Association and teaches writing at Colorado State University and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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Masterful headline actually contains the thesis of the editorial. Readers immediately know where this is going.

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argaret Hurlbut, editor of the Arapahoe newsmagazine, wrote the editorial to the right nearly three months after the Dec. 13, 2013, shooting at her school. My more detailed comments can be found to the right of the editorial, but I wanted to briefly discuss the importance of “voice,” even in an unsigned editorial. There is a myth that “formal writing” needs to have the voice bled out of it, so that the reader’s attention is solely on the ideas, on the structure of the argument. Maggie manages to avoid that trap. She bends a few rules, and a rhetorical purist might even object to her moving from third person to first person plural to second person in the course of the editorial. I would defend her choice to do so, which reflects her emotions, and the emotions of the staff. This is an editorial that is part plea, part sigh and part logical argument. It seems like leadership to me.

Homework does not help with PTSD

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What does leadership look like when the nightmare happens?

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Taking readers beyond the campus I live about three miles south of

fight some more.

They’re just like us. But it just so happens that on Dec. 13, when the Warriors were counting down those milliseconds until the last bell, their Friday was interrupted. Interrupted by Karl Pierson, an 18-year-old who entered Arapahoe High School from the north end of the school, marched into the library, and shot 17-year-old Claire Davis at point blank range. His attack totaled 80 seconds from the moment he entered the school, ignited a Molotov cocktail setting three bookshelves ablaze, and then took his own life in a corner of the room. 80 seconds and Davis’ life was forever traumatized, as was the safety of every other Warrior.

Longer, complex sentences tend to speed readers up, and this one packs a punch at the end (a periodic sentence) with the reference to “surviving the week.” A four-word paragraph slows the reader down. A great reminder that periods are “stop signs,” and the writer is in charge of reading speed.

s

They’re all a bunch of teenagers undergoing high school’s good, bad, and ugly – its heartbreaks, homecoming nightmares, Friday night football games, and awkward freshman-year brace faces. They count down the milliseconds until the last bell on Friday afternoon and do everything they can just to survive the week.

s

So what’s the difference between the Warriors at Arapahoe and the Gators at The Lake?

s

Gators are the gentle giants. They’ll snarl to display their jagged teeth and show off their whipping, scaled tail, but they’re secretly the most nurturing guys in the swamp. They mate for life, they love loyalty, and they protect their own with all their might.

Comparing and contrasting is an effective strategy here, asking the reader to contemplate how quickly life can go from routine and workaday to chaotic and life-changing.

But remember, they’re just like us. While we dozed off for 80 seconds during sixth hour on that day, the Warriors fled their school with arms up, a sign to police that they weren’t armed, and literally ran for their lives. And the fact that students just like us, who shout just as loud from the student section of every sports game and read from the same textbooks as us, faced such a life-altering tragedy on just another Friday should show us that we are not any less prone to experiencing the same event. We live in a time where these tragic shootings are becoming increasingly frequent, and although we are fighting for our safety, we as fellow students and Gators have to look out for each other.

Lead/Lede or Hook “So what?” is the controlling question for all good writing. Why should the reader care? This editorial does not predict a shooting at the school, but Standley Lake HS (often referred to by students as The Lake) had had its share of tragedy and death in 201314. A murder. A suicide on campus.

We have to live every day with love and pride for our school and our peers. Our community and school has proven time and time again that we can come together and love harder than the hate despite the tribulations that we are experiencing. Now let’s live that every single day. We Gators are just like the Warriors. We’re a community, we’re peers, we’re a family. The only thing that separated us from the tragedy that struck Arapahoe is the location. Keep this in mind as you walk through these halls. Do not live in fear, but live in love, so if the time is to ever come that we are in our last seconds, we have no regrets.

And then yet another school shooting, even if 25 miles away? Students might react in many ways, and not all would be positive.

Smile at that kid who’s always eating lunch alone, make amends with the person you haven’t talked to since freshman year, let someone go in front of you in the nightmare that is our parking lot. The thing is that we never know what tomorrow will bring. It could bring the best joy of our lives, but it could also bring loss and tears. What happened on Dec. 13 at Arapahoe High School broke the heart of Colorado yet again. But us Gators have never let a broken heart stop us for long. Come together, love, and just take care of your fellow Gators. Just like the Warriors will take care of each other in the tough weeks to come. Send them love and light and keep in mind that we’re just like them. Nurture those around you like a real gator would. And those Warriors – they’ll keep on fighting. Fighting for their lives.

Should our hearts break when someone we don’t know is murdered, when another life is cut off for no plausible reason? This editorial opts for “yes.” There are other reasonable answers to this question, but the editorial takes a clear stand and invites readers to join. The last graf emphasizes that this argument is hopeful, not naive.

Commentary

Quick reminders on the architecture of editorials Readers consider the headline part of the lead. You have a couple seconds to induce readers to take a chance on your persuasive writing. Don’t sensationalize but don’t just ease in, either. Setting a scene, showing a person involved in the issue in action, highlighting surprising statistics, and dispelling myths: all are worth a look.

News peg or ‘Why should I care?’

All editorials must grow out of the news, and early on you must convince readers they need to care. The best editorials grow out of solid reporting and clear understanding of the facts and their implications. Mere passion and/ or outrage is not enough, though such emotions can be great motivators.

Concession(s) / Limits with Refutation

If it’s worth an editorial, it is likely that reasonable people can disagree. Try to acknowledge limitations to your argument, without hurting your larger point. Don’t toss in opposing arguments at the end. Deal with them early on, and don’t let those arguments go unchallenged.

Logos of your position This is the heart of your

argument. All claims must be backed up by support. Give examples. This portion of the editorial forces the writer to do more than simply complain, or whine. If there is a problem that can be addressed, then the writer needs to advance some ideas readers can wrestle with.

Sometimes leaders simply need to report P

erhaps the confusion described in the Gazette editorial would have led to school officials making needed changes in the school emergency plans. But perhaps not. After all, a prime urge of all large organizations is to control the message, to minimize doubt in the larger community. Here the leadership from the paper was to accurately describe the chaos

after a recent bomb threat. In the best traditions of journalism, this editorial is rich in detail, with a clear chronology. It also raises all sorts of questions, most of which lead to embarrassing conclusions for school officials. I particularly appreciated the lead, which contrasted expectations with reality. And the conclusion is stunningly powerful, particularly in an era of school violence that many have called the “new

Call to action / Call for change

When the reader finishes, what is she to do? Let’s not leave readers upset, disillusioned and defeated. At the heart of the editorial is a basic faith that progress can be made, that we can move to a more perfect union, that reason and good will can ultimately triumph.

normal.” The editorial does not attempt to supply exact answers. In this case, the more important point is to move past recent failures of policy. Students wanted to know what was going on and what can be done. The Gazette functioned as their voice. That sort of call to action is the essence of editorial leadership.

T

his editorial was timely, and it didn’t pull any punches. It was strong and focused in pointing out where school officials had failed in critical ways. And it definitely got the attention of the powers that be at Granite Bay High. Not long after this bomb threat incident on our campus last fall, a safety committee began debriefing some of our school’s emergency response policies, the school conducted its first official evacuation/fire drill in several years, and even several months later, faculty members were receiving updated emergency protocol documents. The takeaway? The school’s emergency procedures were woefully inadequate, we pointed that out, and things have improved. The Gazette certainly can’t take all the credit for this series of events, but it’s been satisfying to see that our editorial not only didn’t fall on deaf ears, it actually made a difference.

Karl Grubaugh, adviser

Granite Bay Gazette Granite Bay HS Granite Bay,Calif.

black

Arapahoe HS, but I might as well have been a thousand miles away on Dec. 13. I watched it all on TV, just as I watched from Iowa City in 1999 as the massacre at Columbine HS, about 15 miles west of Arapahoe, played out. There is some sort of metaphysical connection that is evident when these school tragedies occur, and our student journalists don’t want to just shrug it off, say a prayer of thanks that it didn’t happen on their campus, and move on to big plans for winter break. Aren’t you glad our students care?

Warriors are fighters; they’re the brave soldiers, historically known for kicking butt and taking names. They’re tactical, experienced, and they’re the poster children for courage. They fight until they win and then they

s

The Lake Standley Lake HS Westminster, Colo.

There is an old saying in journalism that writers get one question lead per year (maybe per lifetime). But this rhetorical question seems on point.

What’s the difference between a warrior and a gator?

s

Ben Reed, adviser

#ArapahoeStrong

s

Arapahoe happened, the editors in chief of The Lake came running to the journalism room in tears. Their first impulse was to write. They knew the healing power of language. After working through several drafts, they settled upon this piece and its call to action: love one another. It’s a simple message, but in times of distress, it’s so important to hear. There’s such an element of fear behind every school shooting. As an adviser, I’m distanced from it. For a 16-year-old, the danger is more imminent and real. The fear is real. The goal of this editorial is to say we need to do something about this fear. We can’t give in to fear; instead, we must do something to rise above it. The message hit home with our community. Love is more powerful than hate or fear.

The GraniTe Bay GazeTTe

It could be us

s

black

When the nightmare has happened to a neighbor?

3B

sUMMer 2014

Adviser UpdAte

s

Commentary

Adviser UpdAte


yellow

magenta

cyan

black

4B/5B

SUMMER 2014

SUMMER 2014

Commentary

What does leadership look like when the nightmare has not happened? T

Leadership can come in varied formats W

Editorial leadership should span all the student media we employ

DWYER, CALL EDITOR

the KSDK reporter and the “shooter” that turned out to be a broken light bulb. As for the effect this piece had on the school, I would say it was rather unifying. We attempted to sum up both the faults and commendable actions of the school, as well as suggest improvements for the future, which appealed to both students who were angry at

KSDK and parents who were hungering for security changes. To that extent, some students were annoyed with administrators after reading the editorial, questioning why the school had made some rather dumb mistakes. Although the school had already planned to make security changes, this article likely sped up the process even more with the increased pressure from students and parents.

There are so many half-baked, poorly reported, and down-

right deceitful opinions clogging cyberspace that it feels like a sacred duty to do our part (in our websites, blogs, YouTube broadcasts, etc.) to provide some thoughtful online leadership. These two examples of such careful analysis and courageous leadership are good reminders that no matter the medium, the

basics of good journalism and good thinking should prevail. The Foothill Tech HS piece on page 8B not only makes a strongly-argued point about student free expression rights, but manages to make events happening across the country something their readers need to think about. That sort of leadership creates ripples that just keep on spreading.

Evelyn Lauer, adviser

Niles West News Niles West HS Skokie, Ill.

black

The editorial was The Call’s response to security threats such as

cyan

BY LUCY

magenta

Commentary

hen a student was charged with a felony after posting a threatening comment on Facebook against our school, my editorial team knew we had a breaking news story on our hands. We also knew that we had tough decisions to make: Do we publish the student’s name? How much do we reveal? This was not the first time my editors had to deal with decisions like these. Last year, a student was arrested for making bomb threats against the school, and the editors chose to publish his name but decided against publishing the content of the threats. This time, the editors chose, given the difference in intent in the two situations, to not publish the student’s name and rather voted to write an editorial, which their peers could learn from. The resulting editorial, “Think Before You Post (On Social Media),” outlines information discovered in the police report obtained via a Freedom of Information Act, which was not available during the time of the breaking news story that was published the same day that the student was charged. The editorial also delivers a clear message: What happened to this student could happen to any of us. We need to think before we post. As a result of the editorial, which made the effects of this incident clear, students report that they are more careful when posting on social media. No one wants to get in trouble for words they never intended to act on. Niles West News editor Gabby Abesamis, who wrote the editorial, said, “It was a reality check for students who post their thoughts on social media without taking consequences into consideration. After this incident, there weren’t as many inappropriate posts on social media. Students never considered the fact that the school has access to their accounts until then.”

Yellow

he editorial board of The Call, advised by Mitch Eden, does a masterful job here of providing an easyto-follow structure to this editorial. From the quick summary of recent events to provide some context, to the elegant use of subheads to “chunk” the reactions of various players in the situation, to the “where do we go from here?” conclusion, this editorial combines varying perspectives (growing from interviewing and research) with a message of hope and community. The school community may disagree about some things, but not about the ultimate safety of students. Sometimes leaders need to bring readers back to fundamental truths. This editorial is rooted in good journalism, in students analyzing L]LU[ZHUKUV[ILPUNZH[PZÄLK^P[O merely reporting what happened. At its heart, this editorial is about the future, about how the Kirkwood comT\UP[`JHUÄUKIHSHUJLIL[^LLU safety and freedom (one of America’s major themes since 9-11). It is impossible to ignore the LɈLJ[P]LHUKHWWLHSPUNKLZPNUVM this page, which combines what some might call a lengthy piece of text, with the results of a survey, all held together with an illustration with attitude. That the campus security incident occurred just a few days after the Arapahoe HS shooting made it even more imperative that The Call helped readers make sense of it all.

ADVISER UPDATE


yellow

magenta

cyan

black

4B/5B

SUMMER 2014

SUMMER 2014

Commentary

What does leadership look like when the nightmare has not happened? T

Leadership can come in varied formats W

Editorial leadership should span all the student media we employ

DWYER, CALL EDITOR

the KSDK reporter and the “shooter” that turned out to be a broken light bulb. As for the effect this piece had on the school, I would say it was rather unifying. We attempted to sum up both the faults and commendable actions of the school, as well as suggest improvements for the future, which appealed to both students who were angry at

KSDK and parents who were hungering for security changes. To that extent, some students were annoyed with administrators after reading the editorial, questioning why the school had made some rather dumb mistakes. Although the school had already planned to make security changes, this article likely sped up the process even more with the increased pressure from students and parents.

There are so many half-baked, poorly reported, and down-

right deceitful opinions clogging cyberspace that it feels like a sacred duty to do our part (in our websites, blogs, YouTube broadcasts, etc.) to provide some thoughtful online leadership. These two examples of such careful analysis and courageous leadership are good reminders that no matter the medium, the

basics of good journalism and good thinking should prevail. The Foothill Tech HS piece on page 8B not only makes a strongly-argued point about student free expression rights, but manages to make events happening across the country something their readers need to think about. That sort of leadership creates ripples that just keep on spreading.

Evelyn Lauer, adviser

Niles West News Niles West HS Skokie, Ill.

black

The editorial was The Call’s response to security threats such as

cyan

BY LUCY

magenta

Commentary

hen a student was charged with a felony after posting a threatening comment on Facebook against our school, my editorial team knew we had a breaking news story on our hands. We also knew that we had tough decisions to make: Do we publish the student’s name? How much do we reveal? This was not the first time my editors had to deal with decisions like these. Last year, a student was arrested for making bomb threats against the school, and the editors chose to publish his name but decided against publishing the content of the threats. This time, the editors chose, given the difference in intent in the two situations, to not publish the student’s name and rather voted to write an editorial, which their peers could learn from. The resulting editorial, “Think Before You Post (On Social Media),” outlines information discovered in the police report obtained via a Freedom of Information Act, which was not available during the time of the breaking news story that was published the same day that the student was charged. The editorial also delivers a clear message: What happened to this student could happen to any of us. We need to think before we post. As a result of the editorial, which made the effects of this incident clear, students report that they are more careful when posting on social media. No one wants to get in trouble for words they never intended to act on. Niles West News editor Gabby Abesamis, who wrote the editorial, said, “It was a reality check for students who post their thoughts on social media without taking consequences into consideration. After this incident, there weren’t as many inappropriate posts on social media. Students never considered the fact that the school has access to their accounts until then.”

Yellow

he editorial board of The Call, advised by Mitch Eden, does a masterful job here of providing an easyto-follow structure to this editorial. From the quick summary of recent events to provide some context, to the elegant use of subheads to “chunk” the reactions of various players in the situation, to the “where do we go from here?” conclusion, this editorial combines varying perspectives (growing from interviewing and research) with a message of hope and community. The school community may disagree about some things, but not about the ultimate safety of students. Sometimes leaders need to bring readers back to fundamental truths. This editorial is rooted in good journalism, in students analyzing L]LU[ZHUKUV[ILPUNZH[PZÄLK^P[O merely reporting what happened. At its heart, this editorial is about the future, about how the Kirkwood comT\UP[`JHUÄUKIHSHUJLIL[^LLU safety and freedom (one of America’s major themes since 9-11). It is impossible to ignore the LɈLJ[P]LHUKHWWLHSPUNKLZPNUVM this page, which combines what some might call a lengthy piece of text, with the results of a survey, all held together with an illustration with attitude. That the campus security incident occurred just a few days after the Arapahoe HS shooting made it even more imperative that The Call helped readers make sense of it all.

ADVISER UPDATE


6B

sUMMer 2014

The

Lake

When the news of the shooting at

Taking readers beyond the campus I live about three miles south of

fight some more.

They’re just like us. But it just so happens that on Dec. 13, when the Warriors were counting down those milliseconds until the last bell, their Friday was interrupted. Interrupted by Karl Pierson, an 18-year-old who entered Arapahoe High School from the north end of the school, marched into the library, and shot 17-year-old Claire Davis at point blank range. His attack totaled 80 seconds from the moment he entered the school, ignited a Molotov cocktail setting three bookshelves ablaze, and then took his own life in a corner of the room. 80 seconds and Davis’ life was forever traumatized, as was the safety of every other Warrior.

Longer, complex sentences tend to speed readers up, and this one packs a punch at the end (a periodic sentence) with the reference to “surviving the week.” A four-word paragraph slows the reader down. A great reminder that periods are “stop signs,” and the writer is in charge of reading speed.

s

They’re all a bunch of teenagers undergoing high school’s good, bad, and ugly – its heartbreaks, homecoming nightmares, Friday night football games, and awkward freshman-year brace faces. They count down the milliseconds until the last bell on Friday afternoon and do everything they can just to survive the week.

s

So what’s the difference between the Warriors at Arapahoe and the Gators at The Lake?

s

Gators are the gentle giants. They’ll snarl to display their jagged teeth and show off their whipping, scaled tail, but they’re secretly the most nurturing guys in the swamp. They mate for life, they love loyalty, and they protect their own with all their might.

Comparing and contrasting is an effective strategy here, asking the reader to contemplate how quickly life can go from routine and workaday to chaotic and life-changing.

But remember, they’re just like us. While we dozed off for 80 seconds during sixth hour on that day, the Warriors fled their school with arms up, a sign to police that they weren’t armed, and literally ran for their lives. And the fact that students just like us, who shout just as loud from the student section of every sports game and read from the same textbooks as us, faced such a life-altering tragedy on just another Friday should show us that we are not any less prone to experiencing the same event. We live in a time where these tragic shootings are becoming increasingly frequent, and although we are fighting for our safety, we as fellow students and Gators have to look out for each other.

Lead/Lede or Hook “So what?” is the controlling question for all good writing. Why should the reader care? This editorial does not predict a shooting at the school, but Standley Lake HS (often referred to by students as The Lake) had had its share of tragedy and death in 201314. A murder. A suicide on campus.

We have to live every day with love and pride for our school and our peers. Our community and school has proven time and time again that we can come together and love harder than the hate despite the tribulations that we are experiencing. Now let’s live that every single day. We Gators are just like the Warriors. We’re a community, we’re peers, we’re a family. The only thing that separated us from the tragedy that struck Arapahoe is the location. Keep this in mind as you walk through these halls. Do not live in fear, but live in love, so if the time is to ever come that we are in our last seconds, we have no regrets.

And then yet another school shooting, even if 25 miles away? Students might react in many ways, and not all would be positive.

Smile at that kid who’s always eating lunch alone, make amends with the person you haven’t talked to since freshman year, let someone go in front of you in the nightmare that is our parking lot. The thing is that we never know what tomorrow will bring. It could bring the best joy of our lives, but it could also bring loss and tears. What happened on Dec. 13 at Arapahoe High School broke the heart of Colorado yet again. But us Gators have never let a broken heart stop us for long. Come together, love, and just take care of your fellow Gators. Just like the Warriors will take care of each other in the tough weeks to come. Send them love and light and keep in mind that we’re just like them. Nurture those around you like a real gator would. And those Warriors – they’ll keep on fighting. Fighting for their lives.

Should our hearts break when someone we don’t know is murdered, when another life is cut off for no plausible reason? This editorial opts for “yes.” There are other reasonable answers to this question, but the editorial takes a clear stand and invites readers to join. The last graf emphasizes that this argument is hopeful, not naive.

Commentary

Quick reminders on the architecture of editorials Readers consider the headline part of the lead. You have a couple seconds to induce readers to take a chance on your persuasive writing. Don’t sensationalize but don’t just ease in, either. Setting a scene, showing a person involved in the issue in action, highlighting surprising statistics, and dispelling myths: all are worth a look.

News peg or ‘Why should I care?’

All editorials must grow out of the news, and early on you must convince readers they need to care. The best editorials grow out of solid reporting and clear understanding of the facts and their implications. Mere passion and/ or outrage is not enough, though such emotions can be great motivators.

Concession(s) / Limits with Refutation

If it’s worth an editorial, it is likely that reasonable people can disagree. Try to acknowledge limitations to your argument, without hurting your larger point. Don’t toss in opposing arguments at the end. Deal with them early on, and don’t let those arguments go unchallenged.

Logos of your position This is the heart of your

argument. All claims must be backed up by support. Give examples. This portion of the editorial forces the writer to do more than simply complain, or whine. If there is a problem that can be addressed, then the writer needs to advance some ideas readers can wrestle with.

Sometimes leaders simply need to report P

erhaps the confusion described in the Gazette editorial would have led to school officials making needed changes in the school emergency plans. But perhaps not. After all, a prime urge of all large organizations is to control the message, to minimize doubt in the larger community. Here the leadership from the paper was to accurately describe the chaos

after a recent bomb threat. In the best traditions of journalism, this editorial is rich in detail, with a clear chronology. It also raises all sorts of questions, most of which lead to embarrassing conclusions for school officials. I particularly appreciated the lead, which contrasted expectations with reality. And the conclusion is stunningly powerful, particularly in an era of school violence that many have called the “new

Call to action / Call for change

When the reader finishes, what is she to do? Let’s not leave readers upset, disillusioned and defeated. At the heart of the editorial is a basic faith that progress can be made, that we can move to a more perfect union, that reason and good will can ultimately triumph.

normal.” The editorial does not attempt to supply exact answers. In this case, the more important point is to move past recent failures of policy. Students wanted to know what was going on and what can be done. The Gazette functioned as their voice. That sort of call to action is the essence of editorial leadership.

T

his editorial was timely, and it didn’t pull any punches. It was strong and focused in pointing out where school officials had failed in critical ways. And it definitely got the attention of the powers that be at Granite Bay High. Not long after this bomb threat incident on our campus last fall, a safety committee began debriefing some of our school’s emergency response policies, the school conducted its first official evacuation/fire drill in several years, and even several months later, faculty members were receiving updated emergency protocol documents. The takeaway? The school’s emergency procedures were woefully inadequate, we pointed that out, and things have improved. The Gazette certainly can’t take all the credit for this series of events, but it’s been satisfying to see that our editorial not only didn’t fall on deaf ears, it actually made a difference.

Karl Grubaugh, adviser

Granite Bay Gazette Granite Bay HS Granite Bay,Calif.

black

Arapahoe HS, but I might as well have been a thousand miles away on Dec. 13. I watched it all on TV, just as I watched from Iowa City in 1999 as the massacre at Columbine HS, about 15 miles west of Arapahoe, played out. There is some sort of metaphysical connection that is evident when these school tragedies occur, and our student journalists don’t want to just shrug it off, say a prayer of thanks that it didn’t happen on their campus, and move on to big plans for winter break. Aren’t you glad our students care?

Warriors are fighters; they’re the brave soldiers, historically known for kicking butt and taking names. They’re tactical, experienced, and they’re the poster children for courage. They fight until they win and then they

s

The Lake Standley Lake HS Westminster, Colo.

There is an old saying in journalism that writers get one question lead per year (maybe per lifetime). But this rhetorical question seems on point.

What’s the difference between a warrior and a gator?

s

Ben Reed, adviser

#ArapahoeStrong

s

Arapahoe happened, the editors in chief of The Lake came running to the journalism room in tears. Their first impulse was to write. They knew the healing power of language. After working through several drafts, they settled upon this piece and its call to action: love one another. It’s a simple message, but in times of distress, it’s so important to hear. There’s such an element of fear behind every school shooting. As an adviser, I’m distanced from it. For a 16-year-old, the danger is more imminent and real. The fear is real. The goal of this editorial is to say we need to do something about this fear. We can’t give in to fear; instead, we must do something to rise above it. The message hit home with our community. Love is more powerful than hate or fear.

The GraniTe Bay GazeTTe

It could be us

s

black

When the nightmare has happened to a neighbor?

3B

sUMMer 2014

Adviser UpdAte

s

Commentary

Adviser UpdAte


2B

sUMMer 2014

But things are different now. Really. They are.

s

For years the parents of teenagers have listened to this lamenting, rolling their eyes and reminding their children that, back in the day, they had to walk to school, uphill both ways, through some of the largest blizzards the state has ever seen. It is a repeating cycle, the circle of high school life. Note the change in rhythm, the control of language. Can we make use of a one-word sentence?

While it is easy to blow off any complaints regarding an overburdening workload as a generic viewpoint of the teenage generation, undoubtedly there is another aspect to this story.

s

Now more than ever the intense focus required for six hours of classes followed by multiple hours of homework seems virtually impossible to summon from within.

A key to most successful persuasive essays is including concessions or limitations in the argument. If it is worth writing about, there is more to the issue than simple statements of agreed upon fact.

s

Even three months after Dec. 13, the repercussions can still be felt in every classroom, hallway, and within each student. Rather than being distracted by our computers, sidetracked by our cell phones, or diverted by television as previous generations may have been, it is often our own thoughts that distract us and keep us from being completely focused in class or at home.

As we try to identify exactly what our “new normal” looks like, we implore our teachers to have mercy on us, as well as on yourselves.

When you add in tests, homework, essays and reading assignments the stress begins to consume, grades can drop, and motivation disappears.

We are still interested in learning, we want a good education but we need more in-class and less out-of-class work. Right now it’s too much. Right now, our in-school work and out-of-school lives are suffering. We don’t want one rough semester to tank our GPAs.

Lighten your load too. Try new things and approaches. Mix things up. The old routine is hard. Why not read out loud in class or throw in a movie?

Things are different now. Really. They are. For you and for us.

s

Terrific movement here to invite teachers themselves to acknowledge their own pain, their own tendency to want to buckle down and force normalcy to return.

The repetition of the staccato rhythm introduced earlier brings the editorial to a satisfying conclusion, or call to action.

black

Before the “new normal” we were able to crank out an essay in a night, but now we need more time. Ask students whether they need extensions. We are often afraid to speak up in fear that we may be the only one experiencing difficulty.

Interestingly, as this editorial builds momentum, the focus on faculty as the prime audience sharpens things. Formal writing tends to avoid “you.” But this editorial has built to a personal plea for compromise, for everyone to simply recognize the lingering unease and psychological exhaustion of many students.

cyan

We know that you spend hours on the nights and weekends planning lessons and grading, and certainly you experienced the same trauma as students.

The writer is attempting to give voice to the prevailing mood of her fellow students, so she opts here to move from third person to first person plural. She is writing on behalf of the editorial board, so first person singular is not appropriate. She uses the “editorial we.”

magenta

We are not asking for a free pass, we understand that teachers too have things to accomplish, and may be feeling just as overwhelmed as students do. So make it easy on yourselves. Lighten up.

The “news peg” for this editorial is so much a part of AHS life that all that is necessary is to include the date. Readers get it.

Yellow

Most everyone is still on edge. Slammed lockers or dropped textbooks can send many people over the edge. People running through the hallways can send students right back to moments of fear and that anxiety is enough to wear anyone out.

Jack Kennedy, MJE

7B

s

For years teenagers have been complaining about their workloads. For years teachers have been shrugging off these complaints as typical teenage grievances.

We still may not know exactly what is it we are feeling or experiencing, but our minds are caught up in the experience of feeling something.

advised for 30 years before “retiring” in 2010. He was the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year in 1993, among other state and national honors. His students earned National Pacemaker awards 11 times at The Little Hawk in Iowa City, Iowa, and once at The Rock, Rock Canyon HS, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He served in various positions on the Journalism Education Association board over the past two decades. He is now executive director of the Colorado High School Press Association and teaches writing at Colorado State University and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

sUMMer 2014

Masterful headline actually contains the thesis of the editorial. Readers immediately know where this is going.

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argaret Hurlbut, editor of the Arapahoe newsmagazine, wrote the editorial to the right nearly three months after the Dec. 13, 2013, shooting at her school. My more detailed comments can be found to the right of the editorial, but I wanted to briefly discuss the importance of “voice,” even in an unsigned editorial. There is a myth that “formal writing” needs to have the voice bled out of it, so that the reader’s attention is solely on the ideas, on the structure of the argument. Maggie manages to avoid that trap. She bends a few rules, and a rhetorical purist might even object to her moving from third person to first person plural to second person in the course of the editorial. I would defend her choice to do so, which reflects her emotions, and the emotions of the staff. This is an editorial that is part plea, part sigh and part logical argument. It seems like leadership to me.

Homework does not help with PTSD

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Arapahoe Herald Editorial – March 5, 2014

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What does leadership look like when the nightmare happens?

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Editorial: When one publication is threatened, we are all threatened BY THE FOOTHILL DRAGON PRESS EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD

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lishment. Apathy and ignorance towards the world around them is something the Millennial generation of high school students is constantly criticized for, but as soon as a courageous group of students stands up, they are knocked down, undermining what it means to have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. We also fear that this policy would have the power to climb from county law to state law, or even federal law, in the blink of an eye. In 1983, a student paper in St. Louis County, Mo., planned to publish a large section in the paper about teen pregnancy. The night before the issue was printed, the school’s principal decided that the spread would jeopardize the identity of the students in it and pulled it from the issue. This dispute made its way up to the Supreme Court, and the ruling was heartbreaking for advocates of student press rights. Because of this case, better known as Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, school administrators in most states have the right to censor school publications, and it was made clear that students do in fact shed some of their free speech rights as soon as they walk onto a school campus. The Neshaminy policy could easily turn into another Hazelwood, weakening the already feeble defense student journalists have in regards to their freedom of speech. Some may ask why it is so important to protect student journalists and the right they have to a free press. The answer is simpler than some may think. A free press ensures the future of the country as a democratic and uncorrupted state. No matter what page in America’s long history one flips to, there was always a journalist there to keep the central powers in check. Someone there to ask the tough questions that no one had the courage to utter. Someone to point out the mistakes and injustices taking place that everyone seemed keen to ignore. Someone to inform the public when the government would inform no one. Whether it be the Muckrakers of the late 1800s, those covering the atrocities of the Vietnam War, or the pair of journalists who uncovered the Watergate Scandal, journalists have always been there. However, a free press doesn’t begin in the professional world. It begins in high school, where the small flame of integrity within students is fanned to produce a mighty blaze of truth. This is why it is crucial to groom a new generation of journalists, just as curious and outspoken as the last. We ask the members of the Neshaminy High School Board to consider the deep-set ramifications of this new policy. Freedom of speech is important. It is the duty of the older generation to teach this to their young, to empower their young, and to inform their young on what the true meaning of democracy is.

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not seem directly relevant to editors at the Foothill Dragon Press at first. Fortunate to publish in a state with some of the strongest student press rights in the nation, the Dragon Press has co-existed positively for five years with school and district administrators, who have never asked for prior review or requested that content be removed from the online-only publication. When informed of the situation in Langhorne, Pa., on May 2, Foothill’s student editors could hardly imagine the egregious actions of the Neshaminy School Board, who sought to enact new policy requiring student publications to publish an ethnic slur when submitted in ads and letters. Once the facts became known, however, the Dragon Press did not hesitate to get involved and show their support because they felt empathy for their peers across the country. The editor in chief gave gave up the Sunday before AP exams to the research, write and edit “When one publication is threatened, we all are threatened.” The 10-member editorial board voted unanimously to publish the editorial online on May 4 and to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about the situation. The next morning, editors from the Playwickian staff expressed gratitude to the Dragon Press in comments beneath the article and on Twitter. That afternoon, Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, stated the editorial was “itself the best attestation to the value of uncensored journalism,” and the SPLC quoted it and linked it in an article about the Neshaminy controversy on its website. Additionally, Jane Blystone of the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Making a Difference project, requested the editorial be submitted for publication. Using editorial privilege to add a strong, rational voice to an escalating threat is an act of leadership. Canela Lopez, editor in chief of the Dragon Press, said: “I feel like writing the editorial gave us the credibility we need as future journalists who speak out against injustice.” Melissa Wantz, adviser Foothill Dragon Press Foothill Technology HS Ventura, Calif.

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SHOCK — As students gathered on the school track after being evacuated from Arapahoe HS, seniors Lily Boettcher and Anna Sutterer hug classmates and teammates. Karl Pierson, an Arapahoe student, fatally wounded Clair Davis, a fellow classmate at the Centennial, Colo., school Dec. 13, 2013. Davis died Dec. 21, 2013. Update photos by Jenny Romley, Arapahoe Herald staff

EDITORIAL LEADERSHIP BY JACK KENNEDY

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What does leadership look like when the nightmare happens?

here are relatively few opportunities for students to make their voices heard, for young leaders to change the world just a little bit. That is why we should treasure the opinion sections of our news publications and websites. This package finaled just days after an Oregon high school became the 74th school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, which added poignancy to the leadership that The Arapahoe Herald, led by adviser Greg Anderson and editor-in-chief Maggie Hurlbut, showed since December 2013. Greg and Maggie would be the first to point out that what the Herald (and the Calumet yearbook) did in helping heal a traumatized school was a team effort. But I hope Maggie will forgive me for highlighting her unique contributions, including both a staff editorial and her leadership in the media department’s special 40-page magazine published in April. The cover and two photos are at left. When I reached out to nearly a dozen advisers across the country for examples of staff editorials that made a difference this past year, I did not specify particular topics, but the zeitgeist brought us four editorials that are related to school security and school violence. School security is only one theme, however. This package of staff editorials concludes with two terrific pieces published in online-only student media, a reminder that editorial leadership is not confined to paper. There were several other terrific editorials that we don’t have space to include, to my sorrow. Despite the wonderful examples of staff editorials here, I am a little worried that such efforts are becoming an endangered species. There is a lot of pressure on student media to not be provocative, to not take strong stances on issues, to keep the focus on the good news. I see a lot of news publications from across the nation, and a growing number appear to have dropped the staff editorial completely. Can it be true that our schools need less leadership than they did in the past? Can it be true that obviously talented and aware students don’t have strong opinions about their schools and their communities? As we begin a promising new school year, I suggest that we re-dedicate ourselves to sharing our idealism, our insights and our talents with our readers. The world needs strong, considered leadership. What better place to look than in our pages and websites?

See additional Arapahoe Herald coverage on page 2B

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he freedom of students attending Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa., will hang in the balance on Tuesday evening, as Neshaminy School Board members vote to revise district policy to force student editors to publish content with a word that they have determined is racially offensive. Student journalists of the Playwickian, the high school’s paper, published an editorial in October condemning the use of the school’s mascot name, the “Redskins.” Similar to the criticism faced by the “Washington Redskins” football team, the staff of the Playwickian criticized the school’s continued use of the word, which they find to be blatantly racist. As an act of sensitivity and professionalism the staff voted to no longer use the “R-word” when publishing articles about the high school’s teams. A short time later, three professional publications in the area followed suit, also passing policy against using the term in video reports and articles about Neshaminy and the professional football team. Playwickian editors wrote, “If racist institutions had remained in other areas of society simply because they were time-honored traditions, America would be a vastly different place.” The Neshaminy High School administration was not pleased. On Tuesday, April 29, a school board committee recommended new policy that would force the Playwickian to use the school’s official team name in advertisements and letters to the editor. In defense of this new policy, the school’s administration and community members have expressed that the term “Redskins” is not offensive and is a source of school pride. The Foothill Dragon Press Editorial Review Board has voted 10-0 in support of the rights of the staff of the Playwickian to reject editorial and advertising content that they deem offensive. We believe that the “R-word” promotes a Social Darwinist ideology and strongly urge the Neshaminy School Board to reconsider limiting these students’ freedom of speech. Because language constantly evolves, control of its use by the government is senseless. A different “R-word,” once considered acceptable to describe the mentally disabled, also fell out of favor as communities became aware of the word’s bigotry and the sorrow it elicits. Publications should be given the freedom to adapt to changing morals, and not be chained to standards of the past. If passed, the detriments brought on by this new policy will be large and plentiful. The message that would be sent to the students is one of disregard and mistrust; the disregard of these students’ views and their right to free speech, and the mistrust held

by school board members for high school students and their ability to use good judgement. This mistrust will not only discourage students from speaking their mind on issues that affect them in high school, but set a precedent that if they do choose to stand up in the face of injustice, they will be forced to take a seat by the estab-

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