CAPS allowed access to online sites restricted at BV

Emily Brown, Copy Editor

“Content blocked by your organization.”

The dreaded page that appears whenever you type in the URL for Facebook or YouTube.
For a newspaper staff member like me, those five little words are infuriating.
I don’t care about liking my friend’s status, I don’t watch
inappropriate videos on YouTube and I don’t Facebook chat with my friends during class.
I know, shocking.
I can promise you that the rest of the journalism students at BV don’t do any of those things either.
They aren’t stupid enough to risk the wrath of the editors and they are too busy actually doing work. Believe it or not people, we do have a deadline.
If we want to have any hope of getting into the real world of journalism, we need to know how to be able to promote our website to young readers.
Facebook is the best tool to keep from becoming a rarely visited wasteland of journalism.
When I need to find sources for my stories, Facebook is my best friend. I can send messages to the sources that I need to contact and set up interviews.
I know what you are thinking. Why don’t you pick a phone book and call them?
But that takes time. And in today’s speedy world of jour- nalism, every second counts.
I can type up that message in less than a minute and I can start working on the other billion things I have to do. I can find sources that I wouldn’t have found through a
measly phone book and I don’t have to play phone tag. To us newspaper staffers, the ability to use these websites
means the world. They allow us to get our stories done a little bit faster. They let us know the biz a little bit better. They help our stories sound just a little bit more coherent.
As cliché as it sounds, that little bit can go far.

“This category is filtered: CAPS allowed.”

Crazily enough, not everyone in the district is forced to adhere to these same restrictions.
The Center for Advanced Professional Studies is a special exception. Because it is a business environment, they are allowed to access YouTube and Facebook.
They get to be treated like adults.
But the people who spend hours and hours working on the newspaper? Nah, we are just kids.
As long as students in the CAPS program don’t use it for personal use, they are free to work on their projects.
Why are we any different? The CAPS students work with real businesses. Well, so do we. Every single one of our staffers has to sell
an advertisement each quarter. That is what keeps our paper coming out every month.
If a student is seen using social media for personal use in the CAPS program, they are immediately dismissed. Why don’t we get the same chance in newspaper?
I honestly don’t know. Students want to have the right to surf the web without any district censorship. We strive to be the best school in the country but the
district can’t even trust some of its students enough to use popular social media sites.
It is sad, really.
The district is so intent on blocking us from one meager distraction that they can’t even see the amazing possibilities.
Instead of fighting against the inevitable, why don’t you try to work with these sites?
Instead of writing a essay, why not have students make a short video and upload it to YouTube?
In between the monotonous lectures, why not show us an educational video from YouTube with amazing graphics that will keep even the most distracted of our ADD genera- tion interested?
If you can’t beat us, join us. It is a famous saying for a reason.

“Access to this site is blocked.”

We are journalists.
And as such, we need to realize that everything is going online. The newspaper business is evolving.
According to the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, nearly six in 10 Americans younger than 30 say they get most of their national and international news online.
Simply put, we need social media. News is created, post- ed and found on these sites. And the news is our business.
But our district must disagree (or refuse to see) these obvious facts. Otherwise, they would be allowing their jour- nalism students to work with online resources that represent the future.