Valley Voices

Nicole Hudecek: Student journalists report struggles of Fresno’s people


Journalists assume the role and responsibility of reporting the news. As student journalists, we may be limited in the world of events, but the spirit of The Feather sparks among the laptops in Room 624. We seek the truth, we seek the news and foster community.

America’s Founding Fathers outlined the four fundamental rights of a human being in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Often in high school, class participation can easily turn into a joke, and an apathetic attitude gains popularity in the classroom. It’s easy to slip into that routine as others around you do.

Journalism is a class, but that is as normal as it gets. From the minute you enter the lab, the environment transforms into a workplace. Publications adviser Greg Stobbe eyeballs you from his rolly chair, asking: “What have you done for me today?”

We are sharing stories applicable to students and staff at Fresno Christian High School, or those living across the world, sharing a part of our human condition and ways to relate.

Our articles contribute to Fresno Christian and Fresno’s history, putting into words memories of the people, their struggles and ways they overcame them.

In the lab, we encourage a 14-year-old freshman facing a fear of phone calls; an 18-year-old struggling for the precise title for an opinion piece; or a 15-year-old seeking the right questions in order to produce the right answer. Prime journalism experiences force reporters to explore outside their comfort zones and discover the actions and opinions of the people, because they are worth listening to.

The Feather staff emphasizes the need for the community to engage. After graduation, alumni staffers enter the real world equipped with skills they learned through their time dedicated to publication’s production. They are fluent in communication and observational skills. We learn how to critically ask leading questions and relate the answers to teen experience. Many of us are learning to manage online tools such as Wordpress.

We seek the truth, and we seek to engage. If we’re not the best in what we do, then we’re disappointing our Founding Fathers. We are not properly utilizing the power in freedom of speech or the freedom of press. Our rights are responsibilities of the people to carry on after our Founding Fathers dedicated their lives to and set the foundation for.

Walt Whitman wrote about America: “Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, all, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old, strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love, a grand, sane, towering, seated Mother, chair’d in the adamant of Time.”

Americans must engage in the news. It is that cycle that keeps democracy flowing. We all have the right to voice our opinions, so take advantage of it. We are the next backpack journalists.

Nicole Hudecek is a senior at Fresno Christian High School and editor of social media at The Feather Online.