A California student newspaper endured weeks of threats from the school’s administrators for writing about a student working in porn

source
Billion Photos/Shutterstock

  • Student journalists on the paper at a California high school published a profile on a student pursuing a career in adult entertainment after nearly a month of threats from the school’s administration.
  • School district officials forbade the piece’s publication and threatened the adviser’s job after the article was submitted for prior review.
  • The student staff and the subject of the piece emphasized in multiple interviews that the article captures a human side of a largely taboo subject.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A California high school student newspaper published a profile on a student pursuing a career in adult entertainment after nearly a month of threats from the school’s administration.

Student journalists at Bear Creek High School sparred with administrators over the piece that details 18-year-old Caitlin Fink’s experience as she began working in pornography and sex work.

Kathi Duffel, the adviser of The Bruin Voice, had her job threatened by the Lodi Unified School District officials after the piece was submitted for prior review. But she told The Washington Post she insisted from the beginning they would publish the piece.

“This young woman has quite a story to tell,” Duffel told the Post. “She has every right to tell her story, and we have every right to report it.”

The story was finally published on Friday, May 3, and focuses on Fink’s difficulties at home and in class early on in high school before she started selling explicit photographs on the messaging app Kik and on Tinder, for which she once made $475 in three hours.

The article also captures Fink’s practical need for income after leaving home and the professional experience of expanding her career by getting an agent to book pornographic scenes, as the author, a junior at Bear Creek and Managing Editor of the Voice Bailey Kirkeby, described to the Post.

Fink, who describes herself in the article as a “lovey-dovey, old school romantic,” said the decision to enter the pornography industry came with its own risks, particularly the judgment from her peers.

“People assume that just because you’re in the industry, you would do sexual things with anyone, and that isn’t true,” Fink said in the article. “Adult entertainment is a job just like any other job. There’s always that risk of getting kidnapped or possibly not even knowing what to do after your career is over and trying to find work after that.”

Fink also works as a dish washer to come up with the $300 a month she needs for food, utilities, and rent. But she hopes to eventually become a model based in Los Angeles.

Duffel told the Columbia Journalism Review that the story has made some waves, but also garnered support for the paper – particularly from inside the school.

“Some people still believe that a school newspaper is a public relations vehicle for the school,” Duffel said. “We obviously do not believe that, and neither does our principal.”

Read the full report here »

Read more:

Thailand has crowned its king with a diamond-tipped crown weighing 16 lbs

Explosion at silicone plant north of Chicago leaves 1 dead, 4 injured, 2 missing – footage from a nearby outdoor cam shows a bright inferno funneling into the sky

A massive new exhibit is showing the grisly details of Auschwitz, the Nazi’s largest concentration camp, in an effort to combat rising anti-Semitism – here’s what visitors will see