Our Last Story

The La Salle Falconer Editors Signing Off


Your Editors, Clarice, Alex, and Veronica

As the year comes to a close, it was a struggle for all of the editors to agree on a piece that would grace the showcase for the three summer months, but we finally came to a consensus. A piece that embodied all we had learned throughout the year, all we hoped that others had learned throughout the year, and a nod to the future… That was exactly what we wanted. We have spent tireless hours clicking away on computers in class and at home, sharing Google Docs with each other, snapping photos of students in the halls, during assemblies and at sports games, and it’s tough to bring it all to a close.

As editors, we see the importance of high school journalism as a tool to know more about news and the world around us. Many people have confessed to the fact that they do not pay attention to the world news, or seem to not care about what is going on around them. As a generation of technology, it seems like people learn these things over social media. High school journalism not only gives the people in the class a reason to learn about the world at a glance, but also allow students to gain an opinion on different topics that may strike them as important. Articles that have opinions, or even just straight news, help the students writing  and reading the articles, learn more about the community they are in, as well as the world they live in.

We believe that high school journalism is important because of the checks and balances it can provide on an administration. At the high school level, there is often little to nothing students can do to change the structure and rules of their school. However, writing for the school newspaper opens up a respectful and tactful forum for criticism. We have seen opinion pieces on off campus lunch, school dress code, and AP classes all challenge the system that is currently in place. These articles bring to light new issues and new perspectives that students can share with their peers and the administration. It allows for pseudo-Democracy, where everyone has a voice and more importantly, student voices are heard by the administration.

If practice makes perfect, then journalism is the ultimate English class that can force a student to improve their writing. Through a semester of English one student may write two to three major papers to be graded and evaluated by the teacher. In journalism, you’re writing a new paper nearly every few days and that paper can be viewed by anybody with an internet connection. How could you not improve? Our own writing saw an impressive boost in quality and we are more confident writers than ever.

As we reflect on our year in journalism at La Salle, we look at all of the major changes and development we have both witnessed and experienced. Our newspaper took a transition this year, going entirely digital. We watched as the site evolved from including only the basic features to taking student submissions, write in questions, and a plethora of polls where students could share their opinions. We have seen our website grow and flourish. Stories regularly surpass hundreds of page views, students submit comments to express their thoughts on stories, and our ask the editors question box always had new questions to answer. The Falconer is becoming an integral part of the student body, and we only hope that it continues to express all areas of the student life and thought at La Salle and beyond.

The La Salle Falconer also made its debut on Twitter and Instagram this year. The staff writers and editors were able to find weekly photos of different events happening around La Salle to post on Instagram, to update students with sports, dances or awards their peers have received. Twitter was an outlet for the editors to post new stories before published on Schoology, and let students know what was on the website. Both of these aspects for the La Salle Falconer brought easy updates for their followers and brought more people to read articles and be informed about the activities around La Salle.

Through our editing of other stories and the writing of our own, the voice we had at the start of the year has changed and evolved. As we’ve learned more than ever about current events, our opinions have changed along with those of other students. Exposure to world events that can range from the good of humanity to the great depths of its evil forces a writer to form an opinion. Our exposure has given us the confidence to express our opinion confidently in the world of journalism.

So why should you become a staff reporter and then eventually an editor? Because deep down we all know that it is fun to be in charge. A student newspaper should be run by students, and being an editor allows directly for that. We have all cherished the moments of deciding which stories will be showcase, which stories to tweet, what to title the Instagram photos, etc. Being an editor is a position where you can be a little bossy and it’s O.K. We compile a weekly list of stories we believe should be covered by our staff and we designate who covers what. We decide which stories need edits and which go through to publication. It’s a job of power and it’s a job that takes a lot of dedication but is incredibly rewarding. Journalism is a class that has a teacher but is run by the students, and we strongly hope that it stays that way.

Before writing a story, the writer must conduct enough research to develop the story or an opinion on the events taking place. That research proves an integral part to developing better and more informed opinions that can lead to more constructive solutions. This doesn’t apply to just journalism but to life itself. Life is not filled with easy solutions that are all black and white. Life is shades of gray and requires thorough research to understand the problem. Being an editor forces you to find a viable answer to it.

Editors have a crucial role in the development of writing styles in journalism. Aside from being more in charge of the staff reporters and writing more in depth in a topic that one feels very strongly about, we also get to see an improvement in writing styles across the board. Usually, the editors would have the same staff reporters ask to edit their stories and the development of stories often improved significantly from the first story they wrote. To see the staff reporters improve in writing skills and in depth work not only made the articles more enjoyable, but showed that the advice given by the editors helped them improve their writing skills.

As a final thought, journalism is a fairly underrated and underappreciated class on the course catalog. The value that it brings to the school and the community cannot be matched. Journalism provides a reliable news source for students, a check and balance on the administration, and a voice for the students that can be read by anyone in the world. We find journalism to be irreplaceable and invaluable to balance in a high school community. Journalism is the place for the student’s voice that has no equal and is a near requirement for any high school community.