J&C students respond to their magnet labels


Allison Underwood

J&C kids often congregate in the annex after school for staff meetings. Photo by Allison Underwood.

Isabella Edghill

For the third installment of RedEye’s series on magnet based stereotypes, we hear from students in the Journalism and Communications (J&C) magnet. Some students preferred to remain anonymous so that they could freely provide honest and candid feedback. Students addressed their experience with stereotyping, their decision to apply to J&C and the best and worst parts of the magnet.

When asked about magnet misconceptions, J&C students report being described as obsessed with politics, only writers, basic, emo, boring, nerds and pick me girls. The most common descriptors were that J&C students are annoying and weird. 

“They’re annoying because they’re curious,” a J&C senior reported hearing.

These stereotypes could stem from a general misunderstanding of the magnet. Other Manual students may not understand what exactly J&C does, so they simply dismiss it as the weird magnet. 

This misunderstanding is further highlighted by the fact that many of these reported stereotypes are contradictory. Sometimes it was noted that J&C students were too quiet, while other times they were labeled as obnoxiously loud. On one hand, J&C kids were seen as slackers, but on the other, they were described as extremely intense. While there is likely a wide spectrum of personalities within the magnet, it is still jarring for the general characterization to be so skewed from person to person. 

It makes sense that there are a wide range of stereotypes used to describe J&C because there are a multitude of unique interests that are encompassed within the magnet.

When asked about the reasons for applying to the J&C magnet, one senior said, “to share my voice and tell the stories of underrepresented youth in Louisville.”

“I really enjoy designing,” a sophomore said.

“I wanted to do photography and study law,” Riley Roberts (10, J&C) said.

J&C can help students further specialize in their areas of interest, while also helping them develop foundational skills like communication, organization and writing, which are all skills applicable to professions outside of journalism. Many students commented on how much of a community J&C is and how easy it is to make friends.

“I feel like I know everyone and have so many friends just in my class of 2023,”  Lia Royer (12, J&C) said. 

In addition to the familial nature of J&C, students enjoy the various learning opportunities and publication staffs the magnet offers. J&C’s four main publications, The Crimson yearbook, On the Record, One Blue Wall and RedEye, allow students to use the design and writing skills they learn in other magnet classes in a real world application.

“There are cool electives,” Anh Nguyen (11, J&C) said.

“Having access to so many cool technologies and programs,” a sophomore said when asked for their favorite part of J&C.

As for downsides of the magnet, the small size was noted, as there are only 200 J&C students in total, making up about 10 percent of the school’s total population. 

“Nobody cares about us at all. Smallest magnet with the smallest space in school and none of our accomplishments seem to matter,” a J&C sophomore said.

The lack of recognition from the rest of the school was also cited as a common negative.

“There is a lot of work that goes into our magnet that nobody else realizes,” Roberts said.

“I wish people could see all of the cool and unique work we do in our staffs and how much effort is put into them,” Royer said.

Along with the small size of the magnet, J&C has experienced funding issues in the past.

“We have issues with getting funding for our computers and the technology issues are awful, but it’s not a direct influence on our magnet. We always persevere,” Royer said.

Although many students see the different staff opportunities within the magnet as a positive, staffs can also be the source of frustration. 

“Some of the publications are run very intensely, which is what makes them so great, but it also can stress out the students,” Sammie Hayden (10, J&C) said.

All of J&C’s student-led publications work daily to produce high quality work. Students are held to professional standards, so the work ethic and intelligence of J&C students should not be underestimated by the rest of the school.

A label J&C students want to eliminate is that J&C is only about writing.

“We don’t only write, there’s so much more we do,” a freshman said.

From writing to photography, digital design and even videography, J&C is a versatile magnet with a plethora of different classes and student contributions.