The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Why We Do What We Do

I was planning on writing an opinion piece on the atrocities committed in Gaza this month. But I don’t think I can do that.

There’s probably 10 people in the world that can present a complete and accurate view on the crisis in the Gaza Strip, and high school journalists, especially me, aren’t any of them.

So where does that leave the high school journalist? We lack the real-world training to write dissertations on global crises, and while we have opinions on important global events, we don’t have anywhere near the required experience or research necessary to fairly and deeply criticize people in power.

The role of student media isn’t to be the first to report or to provide the most in-depth writing on a given subject. Rather, it’s to inform the audience about what’s affecting the student body, whether it’s decisions in Springfield, Hadley, or the Student Council closet.

This puts a large responsibility on the student journalist, that, despite their lack of qualifications, they must write on a wide variety of topics in a way that can be quickly processed into a rough draft on Wednesday and a final draft on Friday.

This quick turn-around means that we can’t possibly know everything about a given topic–after all, this class is just one making up a clustered collage of a school day.

Since we can’t write deeply, especially compared to professionals who we consider to be worthy of imitation, we must write specifically, highlighting lesser-known stories that don’t get much attention at either the national or EHS level.

That’s why some of our most prominent stories feature the backstage anxieties of auditioning for the school play or the reasoning behind certain home football game themes–we have to highlight the stories that haven’t been told.

Still, we also have to write about events that demand coverage, like Homecoming week or new album releases.

However,Those stories intend to provide a fresh take, from giving insight to the process of choosing that theme to giving student opinions on prevailing pop culture.

And yet, despite needing to cover what’s important to the school, I feel like much of that importance is self-assigned. 

I put weight in my words and try with every piece to feature what’s interesting, but I know that most students don’t read Tiger Times Online, and I see copies of The Claw littering hallways every time we distribute.

I don’t feel bitter–after all, I read only a few articles on TTO before joining the staff this year–but some selfish part of me wishes what I wrote had some lasting impact outside of the journalism room.

Of course, any impact I may already have is hampered by my developing abilities as a writer and my lack of experience or depth of knowledge in certain subjects. 

But maybe I shouldn’t worry about what my impact is. Of course, I should make sure that every article I write tells the complete story, but I also work to take myself out of every news and feature piece and try to craft each article so that the only thing that should make it stand out is its quality.

After all, journalism isn’t supposed to be about the journalist. It’s about the story.

About the Contributor
Zach Kennett
Zach Kennett, Sports Editor
Zach Kennett is a first-time journalism student and first-time member of the Claw. He currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of The Tiger, which is the school’s yearbook. He formerly served as the managing editor. He has also won two sectional titles in scholastic journalism, with one being in news writing and the other being in sports writing. Zach enjoys spending his (dwindling) free time with his dogs, playing video games, cooking or driving his truck, Hank. Being a member of the Claw is important to him in that he was previously mentored by former Claw members and looks forward to leaving his mark on the publication.