Welcome back to school, friends! As we begin our return to in-person learning and our regularly scheduled coverage of local and sports events, I would like to emphasize the importance of student journalism, especially in times like these. 

Now, when people say “times like these,” they are generally referring to the pandemic and the state of the world today. I would also like to acknowledge that on top of the pandemic, students are dealing with transitioning into a new schedule, readjusting to social life, balancing responsibilities at home and in school, and juggling commitments, all while trying to sneak in more than a few hours of sleep a night to do it again the next day. 

The point is, everyone is overwhelmed and there is a lot happening (which is maybe even an understatement). When I start to feel consumed by life, my method of coping is writing in a journal. However, nowadays, I rarely have the luxury of time to write every time something inconveniences me. So, what do I do? I turn to people who feel the same way as me and find comfort in the camaraderie. 

This is why I think student voice is so important because we coexist with nearly 2,000 other people here at Malden High, many of whom are bound to share the same feelings we have. You know when something has been on your mind for a while, and someone is finally able to put it into words, and it is like everything makes sense and you feel a little less lonely?

I want students and members of the community that read our paper to feel like what they are going through is part of a collective. Principal Mastrangelo is going to love this, but for a lack of a better phrase, I want people to feel as if “they are not alone.” The best way to accomplish this is to promote the voice of our student body, faculty and members of the community of Malden, and convey their messages through our stories.

This is not to take the focus away from our coverage of traditional events, but I wanted to underscore the importance of human connection after the year we had spent chronically online. You can only connect to people on a certain level via Google Meets; the same goes when covering a football game or student council fundraiser, but when writing about topics such as academic stress, college applications, unfair school policy, losing friends, managing a job and homework, not making the soccer team, the up-close and face-to-face stories, it opens up a conversation and opportunity to bring people closer together.

To simply know that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings when it is so easy to feel isolated in these times, is the kind of impact I want The Blue and Gold to have.

As an editorial staff, this year we want to make the shift into the contemporary news world and explore different types of media. Our team is very passionate about podcasting and audio formats, photo projects, and exploring different layouts on social media. We are also looking to branch out in terms of writing about non-traditional topics and opinion pieces that truly represent the voices of Malden High.  

During the pandemic, we realized that we took for granted all the local events and the convenience of being in the building to conduct interviews. Now that we are finally back in school, we want to take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to us. Making sure that our student body and community is kept up-to-date and informed is one of our highest priorities. 

Reporting in the last year has taught us a lot about perseverance and hard work. Journalism is not easy; it is more than just interviewing people and writing articles—it is about connecting with the people around us and the art of storytelling. Whether it is a local event that brings people together or a volleyball game won by teamwork, every article should address a larger theme or message, something that our readers will take along with them on their day. 

As this is my last year in the class, I hope to be able to leave as much of an impact on the newspaper and reporters as the editors that came before me. They truly shaped me into becoming the editor-in-chief I am today. I look forward to these last few months and sharing stories that we can be proud of. 

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