Friday, September 14

High school newspapers in decline

Fewer schools than ever have formal school newspapers, and those that do aren't terribly robust, according to an article in City Limits. "Black and white and forgotten all over?" explores the reasons for the decline in the city's school newspapers and takes a look at whether community organizations and new media may be stepping up to fill the void in student-generated news and commentary.

According to the article, schools newspapers in the city have been decimated by budget cuts, increasing emphasis on Regents exams, and the breakdown of large high schools, which could support a newspaper program. (One of the successful newspapers the article discusses is the Hilltopper at Jamaica High School, which looks like it could be heading toward restructuring.) But some schools are turning to the web to create lower-cost, instant news outlets. If all goes as planned at the new Arts and Media Preparatory Academy, kids will write personal blogs and contribute to an online newspaper, which sounds like lots of fun, if not quite as thrilling as getting to see one's name in newsprint.

High school journalism is a particular interest of mine, because my own experience on my high school newspaper shaped my life in college and my work since graduating. It's a shame that more kids can't have that opportunity. Kids who want to write news but don't have newspapers at their schools can volunteer for New Youth Connections or Children's Pressline, two non-profit organizations located in the city. And low-income students who are active in journalism can apply to the selective, all-expenses-paid Princeton University Summer Journalism Program. Five of the 22 participants this summer came from New York City schools.

1 comment:

AbbyBrooklyn said...

I have to put in a good word for the lively Brooklyn Tech student web site, The students post news articles about what's going on in the school, including interviews with the principal. There's also an active forum for student comments, with several daily posts. Principal, teachers, students and parents regularly check and contribute to