Supporting Student Voice at Private Schools

As adviser to Brimmer and May School’s (Chestnut Hill, MA) award-winning online student newspaper, The Gator, I’m honored to launch a support group for scholastic journalism at private schools.

No matter the size or type of our respective communities, we share common philosophies and guiding principles, including an emphasis on student voice.

This compeltely free group exists to support scholastic journalism at private schools, which face unique challenges and opportunities. Once a month, I’ll email a newsletter with helpful links and resources.

Unfortunately, too few private schools have vibrant student publications—or any at all. I encourage you to read my article, The Dead of Dying State of Student Journalism at Independent Schools, which cites some unsettling statistics.

The ultimate goal of this group is to help establish quality, award-winning student publications at more private schools across the country.

I wish to note that this support group is not meant to take the place of or compete against local, regional or national scholastic journalism bodies. I do hope, however, that this group will encourage private schools to join scholastic journalism organizations.

On this front, I have the honor of serving as an advisory board member of the New England Scholastic Press Association. I have learned a tremendous amount from Executive Director Helen Smith, who can be reached at phsmith@igc.org. If you are a private school in New England, joining for $50 a year is immensely helpful and well worth the cost.  For a list of other scholastic press associations, please visit this link.

The Gator also belongs to CSPA and NSPA, and JEA. All of these organizations provide individual awards and critique services I would love to see more private schools participate in these conferences, critiques, and contents.

Here are some articles I’ve written about scholastic journalism, including advising at a private school…

  1. The Ethics, Hurdles, and Payoff of Advising an Online Student Newspaper (Edutopia)
  2. To Teach Effective Writing, Model Effective Writing (Edutopia)
  3. Why I Teach Journalism in My History Classes (Edutopia)
  4. Copyright Law and Student Journalism (Edutopia)
  5. Why Student Journalism Matters (Well-Schooled)
  6. Journalism: The Most Useful Humanities-Based Course (Independent School Magazine)
  7. Column: How to Help Students Discover the Whole Truth (PBS )
  8. Treasured Historians Benefit from The Journalist’s Craft (Age of Awareness)

I also want to share news about a forthcoming book from Prof. Erica Salkin, which focuses on scholastic journalism at private schools. Private Schools and Student Media: Supporting Mission, Students and Community will be available this November. I was honored to be interviewed for it, and I can’t speak highly enough of her research.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m eager to assist, and now is the time to support student voice.

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