The Student News Site of Taipei American School




SJW Spotlight: Amanda Huang, News Editor


Look around the room and see how many people have a newspaper with them. Now, look around the room and see how many people have a cell phone in their hands. There’s no competition. We can’t deny the fact that today, most people would rather quickly digest news on Facebook than read it in the newspapers. But we can’t help it. The internet is just way too accessible. In short, print journalism is just not taken as seriously as it was before we had the Internet.

What really does journalism encompass?  Journalism is the Buzzfeed article you read on the bus this morning. Journalism is the clip you watched about war in the Middle East. Journalism is the news anchor you saw this morning on TV. In a school setting, journalism is what connects each and every one of us. Each story cycle gives me the opportunity to meet someone new, to learn about about a new restaurant, or even to watch a new movie. Journalism is not limited to current events and it definitely does not translate into the word “news”. Essentially, student journalism gives each and every student the chance to have their opinions voiced.

To be perfectly honest, when I chose to take Journalism I in freshman year, I didn’t really know what to expect. At the time, it seemed like an easy elective and I enjoyed writing so why not? It wasn’t until sophomore year when I was assigned to write an article covering a court case involving a fellow IASAS school that I recognized the importance of student journalism. As bystanders, the most we can do is to help spread awareness about unjust events. It is the role of student journalists to provide accurate, relevant information to our audience so that they walk around well-informed.

Journalism is just as much reporting news as it is digging up fascinating stories. Every single person in this school has a story waiting to be told and it’s up to student journalists to package this and then present it to the student body. It’s a hit-or-miss job. You are placing a person’s personality– a person’s passion– on a platter and the way you serve that information can determine how that person is viewed from thereon out. There are countless voices waiting to be heard and with students venturing out and actively seeking these stories, we are all constantly learning about incredible personalities among our student community.

Journalism taught me that your efforts won’t always be acknowledged, but they definitely won’t go to waste. With any 500 word article comes interviews, photos, and edits. After all the writing is done, layout begins and if you are design-challenged like I am, the struggle is very real. However, nothing compares to the feeling of holding the newest issue of the paper in your hands. While you see stories, we see all the exciting individuals we interviewed, insightful comments made by our editors, and the hours of layout (and free food, shoutout to admin).

Sure, all this can get tiring but journalism has molded me into the person I am today. Interviews have helped me become more comfortable with talking to people I’ve never met before. I’ve become more sensitive to the ideas and experiences of those around me. I’ve become more culturally aware through meeting all sorts of interesting individuals. I learned to stay on top on current events and I’m becoming more comfortable with expressing my opinions on topics that are important to me. With just seven people on our staff, I’ve learned the importance of communication and collaboration as a team. I’ve picked up skills in areas I never thought I would get the chance to explore. On top of all this, I’ve become more open-minded and opinionated when I’m looking for and writing stories and I’ve carried these qualities into my everyday life as well.

What I’m trying to say is that yes, I get that the work of student journalists will never be as highly regarded as it should be. Even in the professional scheme, we rarely see high-earning, likable journalists. We hustle to find reliable sources and spend hours doing research because we are passionate about the stories we write about. We ask hard-hitting, often uncomfortable, questions because that’s where the meat of the story is sitting. Yet, these are the kinds of tasks that have shaped my character throughout high school. At the end of day, journalism has taught me more than anything I’ve ever engaged in and for that, I will always be thankful.


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