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10 Reasons Why We Love Being Student Journalists

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Journalists around the world give you an insight of the world on a daily basis. The weather, a column in the newspaper, the editorial section and so much more. Where does that all begin? From students who explored their interests and took a courageous decision to make your school yearbook to immortalize a year in the life at your school, the student who spent everyday writing or covering a new event or national issue for the paper, and from the students brave enough to show themselves to the whole school on a broadcast channel just to let you know what’s going on. Since it’s Scholastic Journalism week, we decided to answer the question; what are the benefits of becoming a student journalist?

1. Being a student journalist teaches you responsibility.

Student journalist day in and day out are taught how to be responsible for their work. Yearbook deadlines every month and newspaper articles due every single week teach you about time management. As a student journalist, you are showing your work to a whole community of people. If you don’t get your things done and take responsibility for what you are doing, you let down your teacher, staff members, and most importantly, all the people who look forward to the weekly news.

2. You get to share your opinion to help change the school.

This year The Smithville Media Network published an article at the beginning of the year that helped change the entire environment of the school. The network took the voice of the school and made it public when no one else was willing to say it out loud. A change was made because of a group of journalists took what they heard and decided to voice the opinions which helped make a change.

3. Being a journalist teaches how important teamwork actually is.

Being on the yearbook staff or the newspaper staff you will ask for help from a staff member daily. Some members have strengths that you don’t have, and you start to realize that it is okay to ask for help from your staff. You bounce ideas off of each other to figure out what you are going to write and complete the upcoming deadline. If the whole staff did not work together the newspaper and yearbook would be a complete mess with no actual backbone.

4. You learn to express yourself without through words without being vocal.

If you aren’t really able to talk to people through verbal communication it provides a way for you to discuss the issues you see happening without actually talking about them. You can write it all down and publish it as an opinion piece on the website because you have that kind of power. You can express yourself without having to face that fear of being judged by it.

5. Being a journalist helps with conversation skills.

Every article ever written has someone else’s input in it because as a journalist writing a news article or sports article (basically any piece) requires you to interview people. If you aren’t good at holding conversations, being a student journalist will completely change that. You will go from being shy and timid to willing to talk to anyone you see just because you have to have a quote from them for your new piece for it to actually count as an article. Conversation skills get stronger and you are no longer considered shy.

6. As a journalist, you begin to understand the way people interact.

You learn emotions and facial expressions as you are sitting at that nerve wrecking basketball game taking notes and getting quotes for the piece you’re writing on it. As a journalist, you see everything whether you realize it or not. You are at an event and you are forced to people watch even though you don’t feel like you are actually people watching. It’s an amazing skill you develop that plays the conversation skill mentioned above.

7. You get to practice a hobby that soon turns into a passion.

Photography is a huge part of being a student journalist. You get to capture a moment that is happening in one single instance with just the click of a button. Most people see photography and writing as a hobby that they do in their free time, but as a journalist, you are doing it every single day and learning more and more skills on how to improve your hobby to make it the best it can be because your work is being seen by multiple people every single day.

8. Being on staff expands your horizons.

As a journalist after schooling, you have so many options on what you want to do. There are so many aspects of being a journalist. You can write for the New York Times or be on Fox 4 plus so much more.  The skills you learn can also directly link to just about any job. Conversations, graphic design, photography, writing and working as a team are valuable traits for anyone. Not every student journalist wants to be a reporter or editor, some of us want to be teachers, doctors or marketing executives; all of these jobs require at least the soft skills learned by working for a student publication.

9. Journalism is a career field not many people think of.

The journalism world needs more reporters and more people to tell the world what’s happening. Since the demand for news is so high, many people need to be covering it and producing it. Without it, no one would know what is happening. It’s an interesting career that the world needs more people who do it correctly. Who else will get rid of “fake news” besides the new generation?

10. And lastly, people pay to read YOUR work.

As a student journalist, you put so much stress and sometimes even tears into your work, but that moment you get the first hard copy of your printed work is the most amazing feeling ever. The yearbook is a great example, it is currently being worked on by thirteen of the hardest working students who have to meet a deadline every single month with a fully designed spread and story capturing the most important things that happen throughout the school year, for you to look at not just now but later when you have kids, a career, a full future. For us, it’s more than just a book that holds the embarrassing past of high school. It’s a relic of what used to be. Dorky trends, lasting friendships, lost friendships, and more fill these pages, and we get to be the ones putting it together for everyone to remember.

So, in conclusion, take a moment to thank the student journalists in your school. They do so much behind the scene work that goes unnoticed that deserves to be noticed. Take that courageous step and become a student journalist to deliver the news to the rest of the community, we promise it is worth it.

-The Student Journalists of Smithville High.

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