The Campanile and C Magazine are better than Verde. No, Verde is better than the Campanile and C Magazine. All three are better than Voice, but then who gets to be better than Viking?
For as long as I have been writing for The Campanile, I have always been aware of how we stand in relation to the other written publications on campus; we write stories like Verde, we have sports coverage like Viking and we publish online, so that covers what Voice does. We do it all; and, according to our staff, we do it better.
However, I have also heard writers on the other publications say that they are on the “better” publication, claiming that the stories on The Campanile are not as “serious,” or that the kind of writing we do is too simple and easy.
But is there really a point in this competition and rivalry? Instead of putting one another down, we should all be working together to improve and benefit one another, ultimately bettering Palo Alto High School’s journalism program.
Some argue that competition builds characters and makes people strive to succeed. But what if they do not succeed? It becomes a competition with only two outcomes — winners or losers — instead of learners. Being the winner inflates self esteem while being the loser is a blow to one’s confidence — neither are opportunities for learning, nor are they character building.
Furthermore, each “win” or “loss” results in temporary feelings of glory or defeat. This is utterly useless, for neither outcomes build character, which is supposedly the ultimate goal of this “competition.” Competition means that one can only succeed at the expense of someone else’s failure. This system is neither healthy nor productive.
“The rivalry creates more competition, like in a classic free market system. [However,] the system is not trying to turn a profit, and thus the rivalry should not be a competitive rivalry, like many 500 or so journalism students believe it to be,” Jensen Hsiao, former Editor-in-Chief of The Campanile, said.
Verde Editor-in-Chief Jack Brook believes that having five main publications —The Campanile, Verde, C Magazine, Voice, and Viking— at Paly is beneficial for they cover various topics across the spectrum. Collaboration is ideal, for it furthers Paly journalists’ abilities to cover more topics and further inform the community.
“I think, right now, five [publications] is a good amount because there’s different sectors of interests and I think we have them all covered,” Brook said. “There’s something for everybody.”
It is important to keep this competition and rivalry in check. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Campanile Maya Kitayama argues that while some competition is “healthy”, too much competition can get in the way of the ultimate goal.
“Competition, although sometimes detrimental, also encourages students to work harder and continually raise the bar for their respective publications,” Kitayama said. “However, I’ve seen it get out of hand to the point where the competition and rivalry become the main focus, and the actual product sometimes becomes secondary.”
Besides being counterproductive, such competition often tends to lead to unnecessary, offensive statements towards the hard work of fellow students.
Editors of other publications on campus have echoed seeing such rivalries go beyond control.
“What I do not like in the rivalry is when people bash on the other publications’ hard work,” Voice Editor-in-Chief Molly Fogarty said.
Competitive rivalry amongst the Paly publications is pointless. We should focus on the main goal we all share: to voice our opinions and inform our community.
“Ultimately, the entire journalism department [at Paly] is an open, friendly and safe space [for] each high school student to explore and learn,” Hsiao said.