• The Editorial Board

Student journalists shouldn't be discredited based on experience

In a political climate where tensions are mounting by the minute, and everything is called into question, the world has a bigger need for journalism than ever before. Journalists are called upon to investigate, to find the truth and to inform the public of what they need to know. As journalists, the staff of The Courier is called to be a part of this movement.

Often, high school journalists receive criticism. We aren’t seen as credible – we haven’t had enough experience. We’re only writing for a school, not a city – our reach supposedly doesn’t matter. Our stories are assumed to be without substance; we don’t have the impact professionals do. But skeptics forget that all journalists started somewhere.

We may not be tackling the nation’s biggest stories, our topics may seem trivial to most, but our audience also isn’t worldwide. We focus on our school, because it is our area of impact. We discuss relevant topics to students – local suicide, underage drinking and college acceptances may not be national news, but they impact our peers. We may not have city-wide importance, but we are relevant in the community of our high school.

Though we don’t exist on the scale that professional newspapers do, we are representing and informing a population, much like any other would do. A city’s newspaper isn’t important to anyone outside their area, but that doesn’t mean they should be discredited. Though quality and process may differ between journalists, we all share a common goal; we are intrinsically the same.

There should be no distinction between journalists. A qualifier before the term only serves to discredit some; the connotation of “student journalist” is much more negative than that of “professional journalist.” The important part falls not in the level of experience, or the area affected by a journalist’s work, but in the fact that they are a journalist. If all journalists do the same job, and hold themselves to the same standards, then there is no need to define differences, because we all influence our audience in a similar way.

As a result of this influence, we are tasked with following all the same standards as professional journalists. Our goals are the same: to disseminate information to students, to give a voice to all people and to remain objective. As we hold ourselves to the same standard of content, we also realize that there is no purpose to our work if it’s not being heard.

We, like all journalists, want our work to be seen by as many people as possible. In the new age of technology, it has become essential to experiment with new mediums and work to expand our coverage. With our new online magazine, we strive to do just that. We want to push ourselves to improve, and to provide our peers with more opportunities to be informed, because journalism is never static. We must always be improving, or we will become irrelevant. That is why this publication is important: if we are to effectively communicate information, we must make it as accessible as possible.

We hope this new publication will inform you and expand your knowledge in an accessible manner. A society only runs well when its citizens are educated, and we aspire to assist in that process as much as possible. So read, and learn.

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Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

The content of the publications is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself. They will not publish any material, determined by the staff or adviser, that is libelous, obscene or disruptive to the school day.

The advisers are Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola. Readers may respond to the publications through Letters to the Editor. Letters may be mailed, e-mailed to thecourierstaff@gmail.com or dropped off to room 2223. The staff asks that submissions be 300 words or less and contain the author’s name and signature. Editors reserve the right to edit or withhold publication of letters.

The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

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