The Harbinger Online

Abstract Advisers

From the start, students have looked to their teachers to take control of the classroom, but that is quickly changing with the rise of student-run publications. This week, journalism advisers and their students travelled to Los Angeles, California to participate in two days of knowledge-filled sessions and competitions, ranging from the basics of photography to how to properly manage a newspaper.


In the lobby of the Westin Bonaventure, green lanyards can be seen hanging around the necks of over 4,000 high school students from across the country, sporting the acronyms JEA and NSPA. Dangling from the lanyard is a plastic covered name tag, with different colored ribbons that signify participants’ prestige in the competition.

Black ribbons with gold lettering designate students who were Pacemaker finalists, while blue ribbons with gold lettering signify NSPA Hall-of-Famers, along with many other colors and titles. One of the most prestigious is a forest green ribbon that  reads “ADVISER”. According to, an adviser is “someone in a particular field who gives advice,” and the educators that walk the halls of the hotel are exactly that.

In the high school world, teachers are known for the repetition of taking notes and tests and suppressing their student’s ideas. However, in high school journalism, teachers are known for letting their students grow from their mistakes and do what they want to do with their publication.

“I think what makes a good adviser is somebody who is willing to give up control in a sense,” adviser Justin Daigle said.

Afterall, it is a student-run publication.


This is what students had to say when asked the question “What makes a good adviser?”

Advisers commented on what they think some advantages of advising a student-run publication are.

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Will Hembree

Senior Will Hembree is one of the Head Broadcast Editors for the Harbinger Online. He has aspirations to major in broadcast journalism and is passionate in video production and graphic design. Read Full »

Grace Padon

Grace Padon is a junior and a writer, designer and an A&E co-section editor for print and is enjoying her fourth semester on staff. When she’s not in the J-Room, Grace can be found at Culver’s eating a kids meal, quoting every word of the Office or cleaning her perpetually messy room. Grace is also involved in Share, Junior Board and is a personal chauffeur for her younger sister. Read Full »

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