Should Student Journalists Have More Editorial Control?
Student journalists should be able to have the freedom to correspond as much as their professional counterparts – and that is not because the majority of their work not only provides information, but it also provides them with a good learning experience in the field of journalism. They should be able to depend and count on the First Amendment’s protection of free press as any citizen can, whether it is journalism or not.
But sadly, that is not the case. Most student journalists are relegated and are subjected to review and edit out their content as various school administrations have rules that lead to censorship of content. High school and college journalists have reported on major stories where often many various news agencies, both major and local, had never reported. These include false academic credential scandals, rising unemployment rates, economic challenges, dangers in local environments, campus sexual assault and harassment claims, community engagements, and about mental health to name a few examples.
If there are oppositions that eliminate this sort of press freedom to aspiring student journalists, this will stem even more issues on censorship of material and this will bring upon a loss of control which may lead to an abuse of the press freedom that us student journalists get to take advantage of. But over the years, adults have expressed positive reactions and have strongly supported student journalism. It has been a month since I’ve been here, and I have seen the Round Table’s reporting. And what I have seen is that, sometimes, the paper often gives a platform to those whose voices have not yet been heard.
We need to empower our student journalists so that they can strive hard with their mission to bring in news to their communities. Whether it be schools, a college campus, a student union, or a wider audience etc. We need to provide them with the right tools, finances, and other essential resources required so that they can do a better job in delivering the best content out there.