Why Journalism Matters

Nine times out of ten, it takes the kids to remind us:

Several hidden security cameras hung in the halls of Newton South High School for months, not yet operational and apparently undetected, until reporters for the school’s student newspaper started asking questions.

Now the School Committee and teachers’ union say they want an explanation, and the superintendent is promising to be more forthcoming about the new security tactic before activating the cameras, intended to catch thieves.

“We probably did not introduce this security measure in a particularly great way, and we need to go back now, after vacation, with both high school principals and figure out what their security needs are and what possible steps are involved, and see how we can better communicate that policy to the public,” Superintendent Jeffrey M. Young said yesterday.

Newton South’s student newspaper, the Denebola, broke the story in its Dec. 19 issue under the headline “Secret Cameras installed,” with an accompanying editorial criticizing administrators for not telling students they would be watched.


“One of the premises of running the article was that the community should know and have a discussion before cameras are installed,” co-editors Olivia DaDalt and Alex Schneider, both seniors, wrote in an e-mail to the Globe.

Via Romenesko.


4 thoughts on “Why Journalism Matters

  1. Hoodies all ’round-the camera eyes is everywhere!
    “how we can better communicate that policy to the public” — meaning tell them about it in the first place.
    This is good news also because so much of the time, the rights of those in schools (and other institutions)are completely set aside with little forethought or discussion

  2. What I find interesting is when a private citizen starts keeping a video rolling, the police hate it. Near St. Louis is a great case where a cop got busted for abuse of power.
    For that matter, when there is civil unrest, one of the first things the cops do is clear the area of cameras.

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