McDonald: The Impact of Student Journalism

When I joined the news staff at the beginning of my senior year, I had no idea the impact it would have on me as a person, and how much it would allow me to grow as a person. The reason I joined journalism in the first place was to learn more about the ADM community and help to spread positive news. Little did I know I would learn about more than just how to be a student journalist.

I think for me, the biggest thing I got out of being on the news staff was really reaching out of my comfort zone to write stories and produce content, like the Friday Flash. I think everybody takes News for different reasons and everybody that was on the staff this year has such different personalities and interests, but we all worked together and had so much fun every single day. Fourth period was my favorite part of every day, and I always looked forward to being in that room. Mrs. Basinger is one of the most kind, understanding, and accepting teachers I have ever had. She made the newsroom a safe space and let us all have the freedom to create and write the content we wanted to write. Being original and ourselves is truly how she runs the newsroom.

Being a student journalist in high school is something I will hold with me forever. It is an amazing feeling to be able to learn about the world of journalism, and how we as student journalists can spread our positivity and knowledge in any way we choose. As a student journalist, there are very few limits to what you can produce and put out there, which for me came in handy. My experience throughout my senior year was not always positive, I experienced a lot of mental health issues that really affected my school work and caused me to fall behind in a lot of things. I was struggling. By the time second-semester hit, I was at an all-time low. My mental health got worse, my cousin had lost his battle with mental health and ended his life, and then, of course, a pandemic.

I felt lost and the only place I could really find myself was in News. I was able to write about the things I was going through in a way that could help other people too, which was my goal this year. I wanted to inform people about things that were happening in our school and community but, mostly to help people and write stories that others would not write. The stories I produced had not always been positive but, my hope was that it would bring somebody some clarity. Whether it be stories about tips, and fun facts, or stories about how to cope with mental health, and what it’s like to lose someone to suicide. I believe that for some, I accomplished that goal.

My hope is that whoever may walk into the newsroom next year, for whatever reason they may be joining, finds out something new about themselves, steps out of their comfort zone, and walks away with an experience they will never forget.