The Importance of Journalism


Ever since SPUTNIK took center stage in the 1950s, math and science has been pushed in schools in order to educate future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. As much as STEM has been embraced and enjoyed by students via the many, many AP options available to explore, it seems as if english and history has taken a backseat. After the newspaper staff decreased from seven to just 5 members, it became undeniably obvious that the importance of journalism, and just reading and writing in general has become less commonplace. 

“For me, writing has become a form of expression or a place to just dump my thoughts and organize them into a coherent piece,” Yearbook section editor Maggie Collette said. “Sometimes, writing is easier than talking which is why I love it. Reading is a way for me to learn and to see the thoughts, views, and imagination of others and it takes me to new places in life.”

The Academy of Science and Technology allows students to equip themselves with the proper classes, rigor, and intellectual challenge necessary for entering competitive STEM fields. College Park culture has allowed “The Academy” and “smart” to become mutually exclusive at times. Most higher-level English classes will start with an acknowledgment that a good portion of the kids in that class are there for the extra credit. However, by increasing the rigor and commitment necessary to exceed in the class, English teachers at College Park demand student attention. 

“I think our English program is amazing,” Writer’s Club president Sofie Sharpe said. “It kicked and is still kicking my butt. They’re not joking when they say that these are college-level classes. Still, the rigor is par for the course at CP. It’s preparing us for the next step, and I appreciate that.” 

While the CP English department has laid the foundation for strong readers and writers, engagement in journalism has seen a considerable decrease. The need for good journalists at this highly polarized, sensationalized time in the country is especially high. 

“I think journalism has been a voice for the voiceless and a tool for meaningful change,” JSA Vice President Serge Frazier said. “Bad people are in this world and they have committed bad acts. To those who suffered from those poor decisions, journalism has been there time and time again to listen to their story and make it known.”

Most people will not disagree with the fact that journalism at this moment in time has some work to do. From accusations of “fake news” to half-reporting to avoiding important stories all together, many of the most mainstream networks have succumbed to the desire for money and a pattern of yellow journalism.

“Good journalists are out there, but unfortunately journalism has become synonymous with sensationalism and the weaponization of opinion,” Frazier said. “The worst part is that a few bad actors and outlets are behind this. As a result, real reporting, real stories are going unheard, effectively upending the effectiveness of journalism.” 

We absolutely need STEM kids to guide our futures, but we also need new, up-and- coming journalists to tell the true stories of their developments. Recording history is just as important as unlocking it. 

“The student newpaper does something many groups at College Park aren’t able to do,” Newspaper reporter Hannah Dollar said. “We tell the stories of those students who don’t have the courage to speak up, we report on the substance of the school, and we have the freedom to express the ideas that we feel need to be shared.” 

Newspaper Club meets every Tuesday from 2:45-3:15 in Mrs. Walton’s Room, 3112. Complaints about modern-day journalism do not do anything to fix it. Your contribution could just be you, devoted to changing the industry and willing to tell the truth. 

“Journalism has strengthened the connection among humans, both in their own communities and elsewhere,” Sharpe said. “Before journalism became a facet of most people’s lives, news generally stayed inside your little bubble. Now we’re aware of things that happen on the other side of the world.”