Palo Alto High School has seven main student publications, each one covering a different aspect of journalism. There is Voice, Paly’s online news service, Verde, the school’s feature magazine, Viking, the sports magazine, InFocus, which covers broadcast journalism, Madrono, Paly’s yearbook, the Campanile, the campus newspaper and the Campanile Magazine, which covers culturally popular items.
Having so many advanced journalism programs on campus makes inter-publication competition inevitable, which has recently become a topic of conversation. However, competition is not necessarily a negative thing. Competition between publications not only promotes innovation but also betters the content that each one publishes.
People are naturally inclined to compete and to strive to be better than one another. Competition pushes the individual to think creatively in order to improve. Now that all of Paly’s publications are located in the same building, the Media Arts Center, the pressure to provide the most up-to-date and most well-written subject matter is greater than it has ever been before.
Competition to become the “better publication” forces the staff members to be more goal orientated. When each member of the staff is focused on achieving and contributing more, the publication will grow as a result of this. Without competition, we have no motivation and become lethargic, settling for a standard that is far lower than what we are able to attain.
An example of inter-publication competition is the race to be a more prominent online force. This year, Voice has begun to livestream sporting events. Additionally, the Campanile has added a breaking news section and revamped its online story archives. This is only a small illustration of how competition has brought new innovations. All publications now have their own social media accounts on both Facebook and Twitter. These help to stream information to Paly students more directly at a faster pace.
Competition is a measure of performance. It is a matter of wanting to be exceptional and wanting to improve. Competition is being unhappy with stagnancy. Although, competition between Paly’s publications is not an issue of win or lose; it is about determining the best method to provide the best material.
There are no negative impacts of having some friendly competition between publications. All that result are higher caliber writing, greater accessibility to stories and a more informed student body.
There is no reason to settle when there is room to grow.