A longstanding student newspaper is testimony to the fact that student journalism is important work.
At Westhill High School, editor in chief Lauren Schecter has important work, even on her 18th birthday. Westword is Westhill High School’s award winning student newspaper. But despite her birthday, deadline week is much like a full time job after classes end.
“The five of us are here all day, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.” Schecter said, as she gestured toward the paper’s managing editors. “It used to be until 9:30 p.m., but they changed it. The last half hour was just unproductive,” she said.
The students are responsible for publishing the paper the the classic style. Students are responsible for writing, layout, copy editing, photography, and placement of the stories. “Doing the paper is the purest learning experience that a student could have,” said faculty advisor David Wooley.
“These kids have a real voice. They take on real issues,” he said. “That critical thinking experience? You can’t duplicate it.”