by Madison Pena
The news, just like the media platforms we consume, are constantly evolving. The Hi’s Eye is no exception to the ever-changing media climate around us. With so much of news being condensed into less than 140 characters, it’s become so much harder to really get a grasp on the actual news.
Investigative journalism has always been a contrast to the quicker, bite-size news and has proven to be an integral part of reporting. In recent years, The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team broke barriers and was recognized for its investigation into the sexual abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church.
With this in mind, the Hi’s Eye has decided to incorporate a new position in the paper, made specifically to accommodate this shift in reporting. The Longform Editor oversees more in-depth pieces in order to really investigate and uncover more serious issues around us, ones that may not be as well addressed in an opinion or normal news article.
Coming into a position that has never been held before has its perks. I get to set precedents for future staffers who might hold the position, I have more leeway to push boundaries since none have been set, and I really have the chance to make it my own. This position is so open that the options are practically endless. In our first few editions of the paper, we’ve launched an underage drinking story and a Juul investigative, and hearing people talk about the issues was incredible. After all, this entire position was made to start discussions, to bring about change and inspire people to voice their own opinions.
We thought that with so much going on in a world where major news events break every day, we needed something that would make us want to sit down and read about it. No, not just a short blurb that you can get in a Snapchat or from an Instagram caption. There’s real news, and real issues, that we have yet to even scratch the surface of in our Westfield community. Whether it’s something that happens day-to-day, or a new trend that has taken our community by storm, we need to talk about those issues.
These are stories that the staff feels need to be written. They’re about the topics we tend to ignore and are content to leave undisturbed. Stories are being written to educate anyone reading them, and we seek to give our readers enough information to formulate their own opinions. We start this new focus in hopes that these stories can raise awareness for some of the more serious problems high schoolers, or Westfield citizens face, and even spark change or action to improve it.
After all, isn’t that what the free press is for?