Blue Jay Journal TV serves a high school with a current enrollment of 1,278 students, yet our website had 3,130 unique visitors in a 30 day period in December 2018. Our Twitter account currently has 1,499 followers, while Facebook has 1,610. We consistently bring in more followers and traffic to our news outlets than we have in our hallways. This is in part because staff members reach out beyond our school walls to our community by being active on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
I know that we can produce amazing content for our website and social media accounts, but if myself and other staff members do not do our part to promote the work no one will see it. I often retweet or share posts from BJJTV social media accounts or create my own posts within my personal accounts. This helps drive an audience to the site and bring in more followers on social media.
Our program does not have a budget allocated for it by the school district. Fundraising is imperative, and a successful year of fundraising can mean the difference between surviving and thriving.
Our adviser often sets goals for us, but if she says to try to sell $40 in quilt raffle tickets, I aim for at least $50 to $60. Besides our annual raffle, we have businesses and individuals who donate funds to sponsor our website. Ms. Turner often asks all staff members to obtain three sponsors. I have hit and surpassed that goal each year I've been on staff.
I do more fundraising than asked because I want more for our program. Broken tripods and dead microphones are not ideal. Additionally, I have personally benefited from BJJTV on many levels. From the bond formed with fellow staff members to opportunities like MUJW and the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, those experiences are priceless.
Anytime we have a fundraiser, I do not just ask a few family or friends for assistance. I share the information on social media and make face-to-face connections with individuals I have never met before. If I can talk to a stranger while conducting an interview, surely I can connect with one to help support scholastic journalism at my high school.