The Writing is Off the Wall

The High, our school’s newspaper. If you think of newspapers the first thing that comes to mind is journalism, more specifically student journalism. Student journalism in ISL is a way for students to report and talk about different issues which are floating around the school. It is a professional environment where students can learn and improve their writing skills especially in terms of newspaper appropriate material.


As I am sure everyone in The High agrees, the newsroom at ISL is a positive space. It allows students to express themselves and different issues and controversial topics. A large majority of the readers of The High are in high school, and this allows the content and topics being written about to be at a more mature level, but still appropriate for school. Personally, everyone in The High is very passionate about writing and the quality of their articles. The atmosphere in a classroom and within a curriculum structure does not always allow them to produce writing that relates to their interests and in a form they are comfortable with. In The High, when dealing with different forms of journalism, the editors allow the journalist to have immense amounts of freedom in the writing styles and topics that are explored. So, if you look at The High website or one of the paper issues, you will see a variety of styles like opinion pieces, reviews of different popular media, and then formal articles about world issues. The editors always try to get the writers to explore and experience writing in a variety of different styles, so they can experience it all as a journalist.


Another large benefit that can be taken out of student journalism is exposure to the professional world and workplace. Having been in The High for only one year, I was never exposed to the environment in the newsroom and had no idea what to expect. But when I was finally released into the environment, I realized how realistic it was to the professional environment that you would see in a newsroom. You develop skills such as time management when you have to have an article done by a certain date. Social and listening skills are also developed when there are group discussions as you need to listen to different opinions about topics in school, but also learn how to phrase your opinion so it doesn’t offend anyone in the newsroom. 


Something which is very noticeable in The High is how everyone in the newsroom is very comfortable with each other, and the security of the space. If anyone sees The High articles, they can see that some of the topics discussed can be very personal and controversial. These topics are discussed with the entire staff of The High first. This would make The High the place where students are vulnerable and are comfortable enough to voice these opinions and talk extensively about these topics. Everyone in The High has a strong bond with each other and there is very much a “what is said in the newsroom, stays in the newsroom” atmosphere, unless obviously we are reporting on it!


But something that is not as discussed or even thought about in student journalism is how there are so many forms of it. It is not just being a writer and producing an article each month. It is what happens behind the scenes. All the illustrators and the people who work with social media are just as important to our success. These people take articles and find a way to make them read and known in the school. They spread the different issues and messages we are trying to deliver in The High.


All of this shows that student journalism has so many benefits to students, and The High is a place which shows the best form of these qualities. It has taught me to grow and learn so much and proves to be helpful to anyone, no matter what they will go on to do.