Sitting in a discussion circle, name tags at the head of each desk, the News Editors class, ran by Dean Hume, is discussing a prominent topic in the field of high-school journalism: public versus private school newspapers.
In private schools, the newspaper content must follow strict guidelines. Because, ideally, all the students in the school follow the beliefs of their religion on topics such as marriage equality, pro-choice verses pro-life, and other religion-dominated viewpoints. Therefore, there can be no opinion about it, especially about the countering side, published. But, there is a sort of loophole.
Reporting can be done, but strictly from a news perspective. News is viewed on fact, not opinion, therefore it may be published in any form of school news. This means the topics may be touched on, but not discussed in depth, welcoming debates from the staff writers. A private school student, wishing to remain anonymous, feels that the restraints make their publication almost seem inexperienced and out of touch with some major world events due to restrictions.
“There are huge events that are conspicuously absent from our paper,” the student noted.
In this student’s school, they stated that their adviser participates in their storyboard time, and occasionally has to prompt students to stray away from leads that may cause them to delve into discussion revolving around counter-beliefs.
Until private school take away their ban on reporting on anything they don’t believe in, the restraints will forever be in place. Until then, staff writers must find a way to write about their passion without breaking any rules.