Why high school journalism matters


The WEB staff brings news and views to Ames High students September through May. Mem- bers of 2013 spring WEB staff: Madeline Topf, Jamie Steyer, Lindsey Tucker, Naomi Peterson, Katie Upah, Anuradha Gore, Stephanie Shin and Lily Brown. BACK ROW: Sydney DeGeest, adviser Darin Johnson, Kendall Stow, Marios Tringides, Christopher Jackson, Conor Burke- Smith, Jon Laczniak, Alex Qin and Patrick LaMar. Senior Josh Newell is not pictured.

A s the adviser to The WEB , I would like to end this year by thanking The WEB staff for their hard work and dedication. In addition, I want to thank the administration and the ACSD Board of Directors for allowing The WEB to continue. I am pleased that this “€œpublication of, by, and for the students of Ames High School” will continue into its 87th year of publication this fall. Despite the requirements for informational texts in the Common Core curriculum mandates, in the last two years I have been asked to explain why we need journalism taught at Ames High on multiple occasions. If achievement is the central issue for critics of journalism, Professor Jack Dvorak of Indiana University offers important research about students with journalism experiences in high school: Journalism students earn higher GPAs in high school and in their freshman year in college, and journalism students have higher English and composite ACT scores. (See bit.ly/hsjournalismresearch for details.) Now Dvorak’€™s research does not establish cause and effect, and I cannot prove that The WEB boosts achievement, but I do know that The WEB is a place for students to find their authentic voices with real-world writing in an established forum. It is a place where students can find a release from the incredible academic pressures of Ames High. And sometimes it is a place where students discover life-long passions and form strong friendships. I am privileged to advise the reporters and the editors of The WEB , and I am proud students at Ames High are allowed to “€œgrow in and shape”€ our changing society through journalistic writing. Thank you for your support!