What Is Campus Journalism & Why do Students Need It

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Campus Journalism

In 1991, the Philippine Government passed the Campus Journalism Act, one of the strongest laws which supports the development and promotion of student journalism, rights of the youth, and preserving the integrity of student publications. The law also states that anyone who obstructs or coerces any student publication and a student journalist shall be penalized.

Since the 18th century, students raised their voices to demand social and political changes in their universities and countries. They then began to write letters and petitions as a form of protest. By the end of the 19th century, universities and colleges in the U.S had weekly newspapers and many of them even had dailies. By 1973, more than 1,200 university newspapers had been published

We’ve all been a part of our school/college newspapers or magazines, be it in photos, published articles, essays, and more. However, there is more to it than just commissioning, writing and editing articles, it fosters a sense of liberalism, freedom of speech, the expression of societal issues, and other ‘tabooed’ topics that you won’t find in textbooks. Typically, a campus newspaper or magazine functions exactly how the media is supposed to – reporting the news, help determine which issues should be discussed, and keep people actively involved in society and politics.

Campus journalism exists in three main forms –

  • School-sponsored – where the income arrives from university.
  • Independent – a student publication not affiliated with the school
  • Online – in the form of blogs, podcasts, or PDF copies of printed versions.

It gives students the opportunity to hone and practice their journalistic skills, and be the voice of change by getting readers to think about pressing issues that they probably wouldn’t have read anywhere else. Certain student communities also look to expand their horizons beyond just the campus, and discuss topics such as gender equality, human rights or even the protection of animals.

One of the biggest benefits of campus journalism is that you never get into trouble, unlike the case with mainstream media in society. However, this does not mean that reportage has ‘no limits’. Campus newspapers and magazines have established certain boundaries and authorities can even take action should these boundaries be crossed. An article in Careers 360 says the The Scholar’s Avenue lost it’s funding after publishing a report on the poor condition of the hospital, at IIT-Kharagpur. However, articles that are controversial in nature often get heavy editing or may even be completely scrapped.

Certain campus newspapers are always solely run by the students themselves, they have a presiding faculty member steering the ship. However, this doesn’t mean you will have to filter out your opinions, the faculty’s sole purpose is to serve as an advisor, that will be instrument in establishment and growth. However, being a part of a dynamic team will teach you soft-skills more than any classroom could, like effective communication and management skills.

Campus Journalism does not have to limit itself to the university level, but should also have an important stake at a National level too. Afterall, the youth are the change makers, and will determine he future of any society by formulating, amending, and implementing national policies.

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