HomeCherry Hill NewsEast senior Gia Gupta earns student journalism award

East senior Gia Gupta earns student journalism award

Gia Gupta reflects on her four years with the school newspaper

Special to The Sun
Gia Gupta (left) – shown here with Eastside art editor Barbara Armstrong – got involved with the school newspaper in her freshman year after taking a journalism course.

Cherry Hill East senior and school newspaper editor in chief Gia Gupta recently became the first student from East in more than 25 years to be named New Jersey Journalist of the Year by the Kansas-based Journalism Education Association (JEA).

Gupta has been involved with the Eastside newspaper since freshman year, when she took an Honors Journalism 1 course. She has served in various roles, including print features editor and community editor. As editor in chief, she oversees the print newspaper cycle from start to finish.

- Advertisement -

“That includes working sections to brainstorm ideas, seeing through story ideas, helping them come up with story ideas, refining, angle edits and then checking in with editors and staffers to ensure that stories are coming in,” Gupta explained.

In her four years with Eastside, she has covered a range of topics through in-depth pieces, social issues and editorials. One of Gupta’s most impactful stories was an investigative piece on discrimination at East that she worked on with Alena Zhang and Elle Rood, now college freshmen.

The trio surveyed more than 300 students at the school in addition to doing interviews and releasing data, then put them in print and online. The results sparked numerous discussions on Facebook and the story was also acknowledged at a board of education meeting.

Gupta recalled that one result of the discrimination story was the implementation of micro-aggression lessons for all students and her realization of the impact students and young people can make.

Gupta is also proud of the story “Humans of East. The editorial team made a list of every student in school and used a random generator to select some of them to share their stories. Gupta said the article made real the concept of sonder, described in author John Koenig’s “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” to mean “the realization that each random passerby is the main character of their own story, living a life just as vivid and complex as your own, while you are just an extra in the background.”

“I think Eastside has given me the opportunity to always remain curious,” Gupta noted. “I’m so grateful for everyone who entrusted their stories to me. Even for my earlier stories, I had little to no journalism experience, but people were willing to share these very personal and vulnerable experiences with me, and they allowed me to share them with the people in my community. We even have international readers, too.”

Outside of journalism, Gupta is an alternate student representative to the board of education and is involved with DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), a group geared to students interested in business. She noted that journalism is interwoven with her other interests.

In the future, she hopes to continue learning about communication and journalism.

“I really want to bring that mindset wherever I go in the future,” Gupta stated. “Just understanding there’s so much beyond me, so many stories and so many experiences that can go untold, unless somebody is willing to be an advocate and be a storyteller.”

To read stories by Gupta, visit https://eastside-online.org/staff_name/gia-gupta/.

This article was updated on April 16, 2024.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issues