Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Schools and journalist and school newspapers

The Connecticut Post Online - News School journalism hits safety roadblock

Students' names removed for protection


Student journalist Peter Wiley finds it rewarding when he sees his byline atop articles he writes for The Advocate, the award-winning newspaper at Jonathan Law High School in Milford.

So when Wiley, the publication's editor in chief, learned that a school security policy forbids him from using his or any other student's full name on the newspaper's Web site, he was a little discouraged....
This is wrong.

Jonathan Law High School officials won't let student journalists use their full names on the school newspaper's website. J-prof Jerry Dunklee questions the policy, saying that identifying a reporter as simply "John S." could cause readers to make inaccurate assumptions about who has written a story. "This raises a whole series of questions. There should be no objection to a full byline on a story. In every school, there could be more than one John S. or Suzy Q. You don't know who to give credit to or to attribute responsibility."

We have some issues brewing with local school coverage too.

I endorse the concept of a monthly school newspaper, if not on a more regular basis, at every school (beyond the high school) with regular deadlines, budgets and printing contracts.

Too many of our schools don't have newspapers. The kids need to be able to be good writers of the news yet alone great consumers of news from many sources. And, the powers that be may want to see that the newspapers do NOT come out.

The School District's central administration should be able to establish a relationship with printers so as to take the electronic files of the newspapers and have them printed within a day or two, for every student, teacher, staffer, and community member around the school who wants a copy of the newspaper (paid mailing subscription of course, also via the central administration).

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