When the student journalists of Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Kan, set out to investigate the background of their newly appointed principal, they found out that she had made up some of the credentials and educational degrees listed on her resume.
The students’ story forced the principal to resign, and the students have received well deserved praise from major journalistic organizations nationally. The New York Times also wrote about them!
The student’s newspaper is The Booster Redux, a monthly broadsheet published 10 times a year. Ir hit the newsstands with a front-page story, headlined “District Hires New Principal” and with the subheading, “Background called into question after discrepancies arise.” The series of events that followed led to the resignation of the principal, an example of journalism as watchdog doing what it is supposed to do.
A part of me will always be a scholastic journalist, so I am happy to see that scholastic journalism can still produce this type of work. The investigative work of these students
makes us all proud.
“I hope it really emboldens young people to take on substantive news stories even if they are afraid of administrative censorship. This story proves you can make positive changes in your community through journalism.”
Proud of those scholastic journalists
Pittsburg High School students and staffers of The Booster Redux newspaper Gina Mathew, Kali Poenitske, Maddie Baden, Trina Paul, Connor Balthazor and Patrick Sullivan.( Photo courtesy: Emily Smith-Pittsburg High School)
I began my career writing for student newspapers, and got to be editor of both the Falcon Times at Miami-Dade College and The Oracle at the University of South Florida. Later, I was the faculty adviser to both the Falcon Times of Miami-Dade North and The Catalyst of Miami-Dade South. Those are among the most interesting experiences I have had in my journalistic career, and the many students I taught and advised in those years make me proud as they continue to serve as journalists in organizations nationwide.
In fact, my first book was The New Adviser: Learning the Craft (1974), published by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. It was a guide for high school journalism teachers and publication advisers.
Little is known about the hard work that goes into producing student newspapers. My admiration is there for all those student journalists and their faculty advisers.
The work of these students in Kansas proves the point. Well deserved kudos and I am delighted to see all the attention focused on these bright and courageous student journalists.
Of related content
High School Principal Resigns Following Student Newspaper’s Probe
TheMarioBlog post #2608