School to celebrate student voice and Scholastic Journalism

Student Voice, Student Choice is the theme for this years Scholastic Journalism Week. SJW is a nation-wide initiative to promote student journalism and first amendment rights.

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“Student Voice, Student Choice” is the theme for this year’s Scholastic Journalism Week. SJW is a nation-wide initiative to promote student journalism and first amendment rights.

As little as 19% of Americans actually know the first amendment, according to a Newseum Institute survey. In order to combat that lack of knowledge, the nation-wide student press and free speech campaign, Scholastic Journalism Week, is celebrated, according to Meggie Furlong, senior and Web Editor-in-Chief of Bear Facts Student Media.

For the week of February 18-24, Scholastic Journalism Week’s theme is “Student Choice, Student Voice.” During this week, the journalism students want to bring awareness not only to the program itself, but also to the rights that everyone is granted as a citizen of the United States, according to Furlong.

“As a journalism program we are fighting to keep those [rights] and to keep the voices of the students heard,” Furlong said. “That’s what our job is–to keep [student’s] opinions out there.”

Although this year’s theme is “Student Choice, Student Voice,” many students don’t recognize the rights they have as citizens, including the First Amendment, which includes the freedom of speech and press, according to Jessica Baltes, freshman. 

“I know my First Amendment obviously, however, a lot of kids don’t, and they think it’s just something you learn in social studies class,” Baltes said. “And no one ever thinks to associate the amendments with something like journalism.”

Additionally, since some students are unaware of all that scholastic journalists do, the week is also to educate people more about their rights and the Journalism program as a whole, according to Megan Monoson, senior and Magazine Editor-in-Chief of Bear Facts Student Media.

“I think it’s just a good time where we can just inform people [of the program],” Monoson said. “And [it’s] not just a single day, [so] then people will actually realize our presence and realize that we’re there,”

The journalism students will be raffling off prize baskets during the lunch periods, have morning announcements throughout the week, will have a “penny war” between the two Journalism classes, and will give out candy to those who make donations, Furlong said. 

“Half [of the money raised] t is going to go to the [Student Press Law Center], and half to [Bear Facts] so we can keep producing the best publication we can,” Monoson said.

Overall the staff of Bear Facts are very optimistic about the week to come, according to Monoson.

“I’m looking forward to [Scholastic Journalism week] and it will be really cool,” Monoson said, “[I’m] especially [looking forward] to see how the students react and how the student body and the community reacts to how we present journalism.”