Thursday, October 15, 2015

Center of Discussion

In the past two editions of The Chronicle, my stories have caused a bit of a stir amongst the students of Mason High School.

Meninist Story

In the September edition, our first release of the year, I wrote a story explaining the different viewpoints on the "Meninist" account on Twitter. This was a story I wanted to pursue since last school year. I'm pleased I finally got the chance to explore the topic.

Writing the story was thought-provoking. As an open-minded individual, I love to discover different viewpoints. I'm also a big fan of raw passion. Interviewing a self proclaimed "meninist" versus a feminist was fascinating. Both were very mature and articulate with their opinions.

The reactions that followed distribution day were completely unexpected. I knew that the topic was somewhat controversial, but I didn't foresee the social media outcry that ensued.

Some readers felt that The Chronicle had purposefully "pushed back the feminist opinions" from the cover to a later page because we "didn't care about them". To clarify this misconception, a newspaper is laid out by story subject. News is in the front, then feature, then sports. Given the nature of my story as a feature, it was on a later page.

As a journalist, it is an obligation to make sure opinion is eradicated from a story. While this can sometimes be difficult, having an open mind and initially neutral stance are crucial.

I wasn't upset over some of the negative attention the story received; most of it was directed at the story subject and not what I actually wrote. In fact, I enjoyed the attention. The more people that converse about it, the more people that read The Chronicle. Isn't that what you want as a journalist?

I felt proud about having my first cover story. One of the goals I made before this school year was to get a story on the cover, so achieving this in the first edition exceeded my expectations.

Overall, I was pleased with how the story came together.

Urinal Dividers Story

My story this edition was centered around Mason's lack of urinal dividers in the men's restrooms. 

I'm extremely grateful my newspaper adviser, Mr. Conner, directed me towards this gem of a topic. Females don't typically consider what the bathroom experience is like for males. He opened my eyes to a subject foreign to me and many other girls.

I took pleasure in breaking the taboo of 'bathroom talk'. 

The reaction to this story was generally positive. Many people found it humorous, while still maintaining a serious tone. I didn't want to make this a fluffy, just for laughs story. My inclusion of studies and statistics helped to bring it to an intelligent, mature level.

The follow up story on a girl's perspective helped show another side as well.

I'm interested to see if my story has any effect on the implementation of urinal dividers to Mason in the future. While the likelihood is low due to the high cost, it would be remarkable to see a change like this occur. If our poll on The CSPN shows a significant desire for dividers, they could eventually become a reality between every urinal at MHS.

My favorite thing about journalism is learning new things, talking to new people, and gaining new perspectives. These last two stories have helped to quench my journalistic thirst. I'm ready to tackle bigger story subjects in the future.