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Village Voices: Check out the new series featuring Skier Scribblers and their thoughts

Katelyn O’Callaghan
Snowmass Sun
Katelyn O'Callaghan, news editor of the Skier Scribbler.
Courtesy photo/Skier Scribbler

SNOWMASS SUN LAUNCHES TEEN SPOTLIGHT WITH SKIER SCRIBBLER

As promised, the Snowmass Sun is launching a new monthly series to replace Village Votes. Through this new Teen Spotlight series, which will appear on the Village Voices community page the third week of every month, readers will be able to learn all about the thoughts and insights local student journalists writing for Aspen High School’s newspaper, the Skier Scribbler, have on issues relevant to the local, national and global community today.

The Snowmass Sun is so excited to work with these young writers, giving them the chance to try out opinion writing and weigh in on topics that may affect them, their families and their friends. And we’re not planning to influence what these columns are about or to overedit the students’ content at all; we want the Scribblers to share what is most important to them and to feel their voices are heard in Snowmass. Enough from us. Read about what Katelyn O’Callaghan, news editor of the Skier Scribbler, hopes this column will be for her and her colleagues and check out what they’re reporting on at skierscribbler.com.

When one thinks of journalism, an image of students cramped around a table brainstorming ideas, mulling over sources and chasing leads probably doesn’t come to mind.

However, that is precisely what happens every day at the Aspen High School student newspaper, the Skier Scribbler. We are the eyes and ears of AHS and take that responsibility seriously, aiming to cover newsworthy events and provide students’ perspectives on world issues.

Established in 2010, the Skier Scribbler serves as a public forum for student expression. Despite preconceived notions some adults may have about younger generations, we strive to write articles of value and substance. From exposing corrupt corporations to endorsing political candidates, the Skier Scribbler is full of fresh perspectives on a wide variety of topics.

Our team is made up of 35 students who are 15 to 18 years old. Each contributes unique insight into what’s happening around the world and in our community. We have been given this incredible opportunity to expand our outreach to Snowmass through the Snowmass Sun. In this column, we plan to provide the community with teen perspectives on relevant issues by expressing our thoughts and opinions.

At the Scribbler, we value giving students a voice. Having a voice allows individuals agency and power. But many adults fail to understand the importance of giving youth a voice. We are often left out of conversations that will directly impact us.

Why should we sit back and let government officials, who care more about funding and their political agendas than the well being of the masses, determine our futures? Why should we only allow the people who are not going to be a part of the future shape it? Injustice and corruption are rife in our society. The world seems to be on the brink of some colossal catastrophe every other week, but the issues plaguing our society aren’t out of reach, and young people are ready to make a change.

AHS sophomore and staff writer for the Skier Scribbler, Jenny Ellis, believes that the youth perspective is often undervalued but that journalism provides an outlet.

“Most official outreaches or important conversations are from adults, so it leaves out the perspective of half of the population. I think it is important to get the other side of things,” Ellis said.

“Journalism, to me, means being able to voice my opinions professionally, and feel validated with my opinions rather than just explaining them and being dismissed.”

Hannah Smith, another staff writer for the Scribbler, thinks student expression should be included in journalism.

“I think it’s imperative to have students’ voices in media because we have an entirely different perspective than adults do,” Smith said. “We are in a different generation and going through different things. So with us working in the media, it’s beneficial because we can show adults what’s actually going on in our lives. Most of the time, they make assumptions.”

AHS junior Emily Kinney, a news editor for the Scribbler, advocates for teen voices and perspectives to be included in deciding the future.

“I believe having a student perspective and voice is critical to running a cohesive society. We are the voices of the future, and it benefits all of us when this youthful and progressive voice is heard,” Kinney said. “Giving people access to the thoughts of students allows for generational gaps to be closed, creating an environment where all voices are heard and respected.”

As student journalists, we are ready to use the power of our voices to help make an impact.

Katelyn O’Callaghan is a junior at Aspen High School and the news editor for the Skier Scribbler. This is her second year writing for the student newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and writing.


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