Why Student Journalism Matters

I am passionate about books and writing. However, beyond my need to further my love for writing, I began to look into student journalism as a primary outlet to give my words meaning and purpose. Journalism, for me, demands that the truth be set free. So, in my sophomore year in high school, I took the plunge: I became a correspondent and eventually managing editor of my campus newspaper, Facets. In college, I started working as a writer for two years in the inquiry and news sections of our student-run newspaper, The GUIDON, and taking frequent opportunities to write for Press One.

Although student journalists are often restricted to news and events within campus, my stay in university has taught me that in spite of this, writing transcends beyond our local contexts. It echoes global issues. In times of false news and a heated political climate, there is a greater need for collective voices.

when we write about things that matter, we mobilize a movement for change

Recently, it was alleged in my university that a number of Theology and Philosophy professors have been sexually harassing female students in class or in consultation, sparking outrage on campus. As my co-staffers and fellow members were tasked to cover this event in a live coverage, within a few hours my university gained national coverage for its on-campus protest against cases of sexual misconduct against students.

In front of the faculty building, I watched as everyone mobilized around campus in protest. Their voices echoed from outdoors even as I sat in class, listening to my Philosophy professor discuss the nature and metaphysics of life. My co-staffers published a breaking article online, and the wider the coverage, the more victims spoke up. Had this not been covered in the news, many people would not have known of our faculty allegations.

Writing incites action and change. Time and again, we are reminded that words bear power, more so in print when it reveals current realities and incites discourse. Writing mobilizes change, and writing inspires.

journalism, the literature of reality, provides the lens through which we see clearer the truth.

With this, we come towards a step closer to revealing what is real yet often harrowing. We see clearer the realities that influence and shape us when we are provided with an avenue for discourse and information.

we are empowered by the truth and nothing but the truth.

In working as a student journalist for years, I have encountered incidents, events, and issues that have been long unknown to the student population: apparent bias in university rankings, campus inclusiveness over students with special needs, contractualization of workers, and even suicide attempts on campus. Sometimes these issues are too sensitive that we take extra precaution in rephrasing our articles. In other cases, we are prevented from writing it. 

Nonetheless, I feel empowered knowing that there is a truth to every issue that takes place, that there exists underlying faults and gaps in the system that explain overall failure. Journalism remains to be one of the biggest influences on different contexts and populations, progressively impacting many as it moves with the signs of the times.

what are your thoughts on writing and on journalism?

jillian etc.