The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

Editorial: Student journalists are underrecognized journalists

The editors of the Granite Bay Gazette have collaborated to address our mission to give voices to underrepresented community members.
The staff of the Granite Bay Gazette pose with the February 2024 edition of the Gazette. Photo Courtesy of Layla Williams

On Sept. 6, 2023, Rocklin Unified School District’s Board decision to pass Parental Right 21 – an addition to existing Regulation 5020: Parent Rights and Regulations – electrified an already conflicted community. The addition required guardians to be informed by school staff if their children request to identify with a separate gender, sex or name or to use sex-segregated school programs and activities that do not align with their biological sex or gender.

The Gazette’s ceaseless reporting of local board meetings started much earlier than Sept. 2023 or even July 2023, when Chino Valley Unified became the first California school district to pass parental notification policies regarding transgender students. We prioritize continuous coverage, following up with different angles to highlight as many perspectives as possible.

At board meetings, the Gazette staffers are proud to let our dual identities as student-journalists take center stage. We are the journalists filming in the front row. We capture angles the RJUHSD YouTube livestream does not. We capture the crowd’s reactions, just as we did on Mar. 23 when the RJUHSD board and many community members rose to leave what should have been a civil discussion space.

The Gazette’s perpetual question is this: are we students or journalists first?

We’re both.

When we write about an international crisis coming to our community – interviewing dozens of community members on their Palestine and Israeli perspectives, having in-depth discussions on their views and even shadowing local news anchors at protests – we’re journalists.

When we write about the local fentanyl advocacy movement and the faces that inspired it, we’re students, reporting on events that directly affect us. At school awareness assemblies, we’ve observed our unique exposure and vulnerability to this crisis. Our coverage choices reflect the conversations we hear from the community and on campus, no matter how big or small.

Our individual interests, pastimes and the combination of each unique student lends diverse perspectives to our staff. We use our unique experiences to understand how our community struggles and where we can help with advocacy.

Like professional journalists, we face inevitable community criticism about what we choose to cover and how. We’re not professionals, but we act professionally.

Actions speak louder than words in the journalism newsroom. To guarantee factual reporting, we communicate with all parties through in-depth interviews to gain as many perspectives as possible; we read our articles multiple times to ensure accuracy during our copy editing process; we persist at school board meetings to show our undeterred dedication in communicating the whole truth to our community.

The Gazette will continue to stand as student watchdogs at board meetings, not just because we are students, but because we also are journalists. Board meetings are our battlegrounds where students and journalists merge.

They can be yours, too.

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