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A Year in News The best of the big red in 2020-2021

Throughout the semester we have published a total of 31 pieces, three being editorials and 13 profile pieces, as well as three galleries. For our club, we had added opinion writers and new photographers. Here are the top five most viewed articles by The Big Red this year.

High School Musical: The End: An in-depth look into the life of Maia Frias by Avani Kashalikar.

Speaking Out: AAPI students share their experiences on the rise in Hate Crimes by Avani Kashalikar.

The TikTok Problem: Eating Disorders and Diet Culture: Sarah Marshall addresses the popularization of diet culture and eating disorders through social media. **This article contains the topics of eating disorders and harmful diet culture. Reader discretion is advised.

Shot of Relief: A breaking news story discussing the availability of the vaccine for educators at the time by Avani Kashalikar, Jane Jeudy, Dylon Medeiros, Lilla Gaffney, Sarah Marshall, Ilan Levine, Liana Melecio and Veronica Mildish.

15 And Graduating: A piece about recently graduated 15-year-old Aiden Firth, by Sarah Marshall. This piece was also picked up by The Community Advocate as part of a new partnership.

Our 2021 journalism class was heavily made up of seniors. Though they have graduated, they have shared letters to future student journalists at Hudson High.
Dear Future Journalism Student,

You are going to love this class! After all five years I’ve spent at Hudson High, I’ve never been so sad to leave a class. Sitting here a day before I have to leave, I can barely wrap my head around it. It comes so much faster than you think.

Coming into Journalism I was nervous, as I had never done something like this before, but the growth, support, and sense of community you’ll find here is unmatched. My only regret is wishing I had taken it earlier.

Before I entered this class, I was worried I wouldn’t be good at it because I didn’t know much about journalism. Now I’m planning on majoring in journalism in college. Although I only had this class for one semester, I have learned so much in such a short amount of time. Even if you come into this class without knowing a single thing about journalism, it doesn’t matter, because you come out of it with so much knowledge and so many skills you never even knew you could have.

One of the best things about journalism is that your process as a journalist is shaped by what you’re interested in. You can learn and grow through learning more and spreading awareness of things you actually care about. I think it’s so important to find something you’re passionate about changing, whether it’s within the school or beyond, and journalism is a great way to do that.

One of my favorite things I’ve done is an article on eating disorder culture on Tiktok. It was the first article I wrote for The Big Red, and I’m still so proud of it. It definitely forced me to step out of my comfort zone, which is something this class as a whole has done for me. Nothing feels better than publishing your first piece, and that good feeling pushes you to want to write more and more.

I think one of the biggest things this class can teach you that will help you in the real world is being able to communicate effectively, whether you’re interviewing someone or writing out an article. You will also find a great sense of community with a class full of people who will offer amazing perspectives and insights you would have never heard before.

By taking this class, you’ve taken your first step towards a year full of growth, learning, and making connections you never would have made otherwise. I wish you all the best on your journey as a reporter, and can’t wait to read all the incredible pieces you publish in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Sarah Marshall, 2020-2021, Staff Writer The Big Red

To All Future Journalists,

Welcome to the world of media: a confusing, biased, reactionary, albeit important, world of facts and opinions. As journalists, we are taught not to make the news but to tell it. However, it seems today that producing an article can be just as controversial as its content.

There are many freedoms a student newspaper holds thanks to the complexities of the U.S. legal system. From Tinker to Hazelwood, students are always pushing the boundaries so that we can one day set the precedent and provide greater freedom to those that follow in our footsteps. What this results in is a student’s liberty to highlight and open a dialogue about nearly any student-related issue.

At the start of our journalism class, we held several conversations about looking at an uninteresting, boring topic in a different light to showcase something new, something fresh, something exciting. This creative freedom, combined with the importance of First Amendment protections, means that student journalists are like gatekeepers to uncovering a spectrum of events.

One of my favorite aspects of the journalism course has been my free-range to cover and report on my interests. More specifically, I have always been interested in the secret world of college admissions. When a senior class applies to college, the students are asked about how many essays they have to write and how many colleges to which they were accepted, but then the conversation ends. My favorite piece to create was my interview with three students, all of which applied to college via Early Decision, a lesser-known yet increasingly popular application method.

In this case, I knew the story I wanted to tell but not yet how to tell it. I feel that I applied proper journalistic ethics to create a fully realized article thanks to my prior knowledge and experience in the field. It is this kind of mentality that emphasizes the need for journalists to follow their passions and deliver the news through the lens of their own experiences.

The Big Red is a student newspaper, and while this comes with a specific focus, this should not remain a limit for the creative minds and souls of the staff writers. I would ask you all not to pursue stories that you believe would score the most views, but rather write about the stories that intrigue you, excite you, even make you question the system. Afterward, you will grow to develop your own writer’s voice, and eventually your audience will come to appreciate your unique perspective on the topic.

Today, American culture is stuck at the crossroads of innovation and tradition. In terms of The Big Red, we gladly embrace our online presence but follow the strict rules of the AP, including its abhorrent rejection of the Oxford comma, a true literary tragedy if you ask me.

Nevertheless, student journalists serve as the school’s wingmen, celebrating its accomplishments and exposing its weaknesses with the intent of calling for improvement. If all politics is local, then so is journalism. We are constantly being flooded with news, and the students must decide what is most relevant to fellow students. The key to journalism is not to write solely the facts of an event nor solely the opinions and reactions; it is the interwoven nature of these devices that create the tightly-wound pages of the narrative you are ready to (press) release.

Sending you lots of luck, preparation, and determination,

Ilan Levine, 2020-2021 Copy Editor, The Big Red

Dear Future Journalist,

My past four years in this school would have been a lot different if I hadn’t sat behind my press pass.

Journalism has helped me grow as a person. I'm able to comfortably talk, do things independently, and become a more mature person because of this course. My skills have definitely improved with time which only benefits me in the long run.

I feel as though Journalism is one of the only extracurriculars at HHS that can appeal to anyone. It’s more than just writing what’s happening, it’s finding your passion and covering it clearly. Whether through photos, articles, social media; anything becomes news when you give it the power to be.

Allowing students who may not be outspoken to tell their story, or having coverage of protests there is a definite need for reporters in this world.

While you may not be a Pulitzer prize winner, or a scholastic photographer, you will be a journalist that is vital to the news.

Thank you,

Veronica Mildish, 2018-2021, Editor-in-Chief, The Big Red

For this year, that's a wrap!

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