Evan Dorian

Evan Dorian is co-editor-in-chief of the Lodge at St. George's Independent School.  

St. George's journalism students snag state awards

Co-editor explains why it's been 'the best learning experience of my life'

By Updated: June 08, 2019 4:00 AM CT | Published: June 07, 2019 5:13 PM CT

The Lodge, the student magazine at St. George's Independent School, won the Tennessee High School Press Association's 2019 awards for Best Overall Website and second place for Best Overall Newspaper/Newsmagazine. The two co-editors submitted columns about the importance of student newspapers.

After my second year working on a student publication, and my first as a co-editor-in-chief, I’m prepared to say it’s been the best learning experience of my life.

It has been the perfect blend of learning demonstrable skills like writing, photography and graphic design with intangible attributes like leadership and management. Whenever guests to St. George’s stop by the newsroom, I jump up out of my seat to show them that a St. George’s journalism student doesn’t miss a chance to promote the work we do.

<strong>Evan Dorian</strong>

Evan Dorian

And it’s the work we do that makes me so proud to be a student of journalism. As a high schooler in the newsroom, I learn by doing. It’s not something I passively observe or take notes on. It’s not even something that’s relegated to after-school time. I spend multiple hours every week in a hands-on environment that doesn’t just teach students about journalism. It teaches students to do journalism.

While we were putting out four issues of our newsmagazine in a school year, I had the privilege of being one of the students to make big decisions – decisions about stories we’ve run, about topics we’ve approached and about which of our up-and-coming staffers are best suited for which roles.

This is what makes the Lodge an award-winning publication. We put skills into practice, and it’s a team effort above everything else. We do work that matters, covering topics that are important not only to our student body but also to the parents, teachers and other members of the community that see our publication.

As a high schooler in the newsroom, I learn by doing. 
Evan Dorian

We’ve done everything from updating the accomplishments of our varsity sports teams to tackling what it means to suffer from depression or struggle to find one’s identity. We work with the school’s administration to find the best way to appropriately and thoroughly represent the interests of our school community.

Our practice of creating this groundbreaking publication in a room of 17 teenagers is why it’s important for young people to be interested in journalism. Society is seeing a youth movement in terms of what matters to the public – people are beginning to see that young people have intelligent things to say about issues that matter, and that’s ultimately what student journalism is all about.

We don’t just write about the varsity football team or give exam tips (although sports coverage and test-taking do’s and don’ts can be plenty of fun). We push ourselves to learn through research, interviews and observation about what people want to know, and how we as high schoolers can bring a unique perspective to any given issue.

Young people matter in the world of journalism. Everyone matters in the world of journalism. That’s what journalism ultimately means to me. If there’s a story to be told, there’s someone to tell it. Leadership in journalism isn’t about taking charge of telling that story – it’s about finding the person who can. That’s why everyone matters. When people decide that journalism is the career for them, they’re adding to the arsenal of intelligent, mature people in our society who can bring change and compassion by writing stories that matter.

I challenge youths everywhere to get involved in their student publications. Whether it’s newspaper, yearbook, a literary magazine or even just taking a class on graphic design or media literacy, there is something for everyone.

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Yes, journalism gets pegged as a difficult career because people perceive a lack of stability. Yes, journalism is controversial because everyone has different opinions. And yes, it’s not easy to make it “big time,” but famous journalists become famous for a reason. I believe everyone has a chance to develop into someone with the skills and leadership to change the world. All you have to do is take a chance on journalism. It will reward you.


St. George's Independent School Tennessee High School Press Association

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