My name is Justice Bennett. I am a senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of The Blackfriar Chronicle at Malvern Preparatory School.
Malvern is an all-boys, Catholic, independent school about a half hour outside of Philadelphia. The upper school size is about 500 students; there’s also a middle school of around 180.
At a private institution, I shed many of the rights to freedom of speech and press that I would have at a public school.
In the 2011-12 school year, the newspaper published a four page paper in September, and a full page center spread collage of prom photos in April. It is safe to say we do not have a long-standing tradition of journalism excellence. Instead, we are creating that tradition.
With that, we have had some growing pains and education within the community. Initially, most of our sources asked for review of the entire article before we published, and we gave it to them. Creating a culture shift that respects journalism and understands the fundamental principles has been a long process.
The Blackfriar Chronicle is raising the bar with every issue. We are challenging conventional wisdom and affecting our community.
Developing this application has been a wonderful reflection on my progression. We do not have a journalism curriculum in our school, but I have learned about many aspects of the JEA curriculum through my work on our extracurricular publication - which is what you’ll see here.
This introduction page was the last thing I wrote. As I went through the pages, I noticed I used the word "we" much more than the word "I." Journalism is a team effort, and I am incredibly proud of the reporters and editors on our staff.
We have come a long way, and with it so have I. I hope that this is just the first step on the way to a long and successful career in journalism.