Lily Nilipour | Torrey Pines High School Senior
I am entering my third year as a staff member on my school’s newspaper — the Torrey Pines High School Falconer. I’ve written innumerable articles, researched dozens of topics and talked to a variety of people, all for the sake of journalism. Rapid-fire deadlines, red ink and refrigerated pizza on layouts have become some of my best friends and worst enemies.
Yet, student journalism is, of course, more than just late nights in the computer lab and continual rounds of edits. As put by my fellow Falconer staff member Irene Yu, “student journalism is important because a lot of times, younger people are dismissed for their ideas simply because of age.”
Despite the time and effort we spend reporting stories and following a rigid journalistic code of conduct, as students we are often brushed aside by not only adults, but also our own peers. It is not uncommon to see a fresh copy of the Falconer in the trash can, or to hear a friend ask, “What’s the Falconer again?” And although many students do read the newspaper, it is difficult to continue our journalistic endeavors when many other students have no respect for them. It is discouraging.
In a time where journalism seems to be losing its value and dignity in society, and student journalism even more so at that, I find it puzzling that I, however, am increasingly drawn to it. As a teen sports reporter for the company Prep2Prep, and now a new teen reporter for the Sandpiper, it appears that I am still attached to this idea of student reporting, just like many others who are part of the Falconer. The reason is this: we are attracted to hearing stories, and telling them.
“Journalism has taught me [so much], whether it’s how to write in a concise fashion or how to talk to someone who has just lost a family member,” Irene said. “It has given me a platform to voice my thoughts.”
As student journalists, we cannot rest. We hear about issues and get angry, we hear about a loss and get sad. Our emotions are volatile, and we can use that to our advantage. We talk to all sorts of people and we get to the bottom of things. We report because it is our duty to let people around us know what is going on around them.
For me, journalism will always stay alive; for, no matter how many times I feel that my work is in vain or taken for granted because I am seventeen years old, I know that I am in the end fighting for truth and doing what is right, even if others may not think so.