Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Journalism surrounds your everyday life: Scholastic Journalism Week

Journalism+surrounds+your+everyday+life%3A+Scholastic+Journalism+Week
Day Starr-Fleming

Scholastic Journalism Week (SJW) has been celebrated for the last 100 years to highlight the importance of journalism and the student journalists bringing news to the public. 

SJW is being celebrated from February 19-23. This year’s theme is “Here to Stay,” to show that while there is a large decrease in the number of in-office reporters and print publications, journalism has a permanent role in a democratic society. 

Throughout the week there are daily themes that represent different eras of scholastic journalism. Monday will start off with the First Amendment and how it is essential for those who practice journalism. Tuesday is centered around “journalism then” and the difference between sensationalist news then and now. Wednesday moves into “journalism now” focusing on the digital landscape and receiving news through digital media. Thursday represents the sixth annual Student Press Freedom Day. The last day of SJW discusses possibilities for the future of journalism with the theme “journalism next.”

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The primary goals of SJW are to promote journalism education and the role it plays in developing critical thinking, communication, skills and media literacy among students. 

Celebrating student journalists is another goal of SJW. Anyone can celebrate student journalism by recognizing and celebrating the impact they have on their schools and communities. The next goal is to raise awareness about the challenges and opportunities in the field of journalism, including the importance of freedom and responsible press.

Raising awareness is one of the most important goals of the week. Student journalists are often overlooked in comparison to other news outlets. Of the almost 6,000 universities in the U.S. there are an estimated 1,600 student newspapers. 

Student-run newspapers are a critical part of any journalism student’s college experience. Having the opportunity to gain experience in their future career field sets students up for success once they graduate. 

Assistant professor in the School of Advertising and Journalism Molly Parker works for Capital News Illinois and for ProPublica, writing enterprise and investigative stories while also teaching media ethics, beat reporting and investigative reporting at Southern Illinois University. 

“I think college is a great place to learn the fundamentals of journalism. You can have all different kinds of background and get into journalism but it helps to understand the ethics and principles and practices that go into telling stories that not just anyone with a recorder and a camera is a journalist,” she said. 

Parker is not only an alumni of SIU but also served as the Editor in Chief of the Daily Egyptian her senior year. She was an employee of the paper all three years that she attended Southern. 

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“That was hugely helpful to me to have writing experience, there’s just a lot of things you don’t know. Learning how to interview people, learning how to fact check, getting over anxieties with confronting people with questions. All of that was very helpful in my early career,” Parker said about her time with the Daily Egyptian. 

Having the opportunity to learn about her career field in her undergraduate time at Southern gave Parker the knowledge and skills she needed to enter the workforce after graduation. She stressed how critical the opportunities are that SIU offers its journalism students, from the Daily Egyptian to WSIU, which teach not only print but multi platform reporting and the cross platform experience that the university offers its students.

“I think it’s important for students who are going into journalism to have lots of opportunities to practice journalism at the college level at the guidance of people who have experience doing it,” Parker said. 

Not only does Southern Illinois offer upwards of 70 journalism courses in specializations of all sorts, including advertising, journalism in mass, communications, news-editorial, photos, journalism and sports media. It also offers award-winning organizations such as Saluki AdLab, the Daily Egyptian and alt.news 26:46, as well as interactions with WSIU. 

“It’s important to reflect on the programs we’re offering and to make sure they’re matching what the current industry looks like so that you’re prepared for work, it’s good to have that practical experience [that many SIU classes are built around],” Parker said.

Working alongside people that are able to help and give effective feedback in the case a student is running into ethical dilemmas or struggling with story ideas it is important that they have people you can lean on to ask questions and work out kinks before they get into the professional field.

Parker feels strongly about the general public being educated on news and the day to day struggles and tasks of journalists of all sorts. Many people are quick to jump to conclusions without an understanding of the processes that media sources go through to produce their information. 

“Anyone can benefit from learning how journalism is done. Concerns right now and attempts to call people fake journalists and discredit the work of journalists, I think a lot of that comes from the general public not understanding what goes into the process and therefore not being able to differentiate between actual fake news and news that is gathered ethically,” Parker said. 

Scholastic Journalism Week is in place not only for student journalists to celebrate their accomplishments in the field of journalism, but to educate those who may not have a full understanding of what goes into the news articles, photos and other news media they may consume. 

”Everyone should have an understanding of media literacy,” Parker said. 

With the decline in newsrooms all over the world and print publications being in a “dying era” it is important to bring recognition to those who work in the ever changing field of journalism and know that we’re “Here to Stay.”

News Editor Joei Younker can be reached at [email protected]



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    Alaja DepinaApr 1, 2024 at 9:56 am

    Thank you so much for writing this 10/10 article! My teammates and I really loved the way you wrote this, and you have inspired us all!!!! Keep up the good work!

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