The University School News is only the oldest high school newspaper in the state of Ohio. It’s only 118 years old. It’s only an organization which at one point commandeered respect not only at University School but also in Northeast Ohio at large.
Suffice to say, I would be lying if I said that there isn’t a legacy and reputation to uphold as the editor-in-chief of the US News. The burden of 118 years of journalism, both good and bad, guides our reinvigorated efforts to make the US News great again (Sorry, Donald. That line isn’t just yours).
Last year was not particularly easy going for University School’s student run-newspaper. Our editor-in-chief resigned midway through the year and we only had a single freshmen writer. But that’s all behind us now. We are looking towards the future, and I’m crossing my fingers that this year will be different—so far, so good.
So here’s what we are doing differently in year 118:
News, News…News, and News:
The primary focus of this year’s school newspaper is simply unadulterated news. It is my supreme belief that media and its consumers have lost touch with the value of “news,” which conveys facts—not emotions—dates and names— not anecdotes and opinions. In a world in which opinions are quickly co-opted as facts, I hope we are able to teach US News writers and readers what it means to produce content which is succinct and unbiased—news with personal and journalistic integrity, news which upholds the values of University School.
Without drawing too many comparisons to last year’s content, this school year will be much more focused on producing articles which seek to inform the student body, parents, and faculty on happenings at University School. This content includes, but is not limited to: news summaries, interviews, feature articles, and investigative stories. In order to facilitate the added emphasis on news, our editorial staff is now comprised of three news editors, an opinion/editorial editor, and a sports editor.
After a planning and logistics process spanning several months (and the majority of my spring break), the US News is proud to be returning to print after a four year hiatus. Four-page, broadsheet print issues will be distributed on a quarterly basis, available in the library and the upper commons. Look out for the first print issue in the coming weeks.
Teaching and Learning
Also new this year: the school newspaper will teach its writers how to write for the school newspaper. Crazy, I know.
In years past, writers were simply expected to know how to write a complete news story; they were expected to understand the difference between news and gossip, between slander and libel, between byline and header. I, however, do not expect the writers, or editors for that matter, to simply “know” everything about journalism without learning it in school. Through University School does not offer a proper, full semester or year journalism course, I hope the US News is able to fill this void through an emphasis on journalism literacy and ethics. With meetings dedicated specifically to teaching journalism concepts, I hope we will be able to create a more effective news staff in the future.
Making it Real
The US News has not always been taken seriously; in years past, monthly meetings and by-monthly meetings did not exactly beg for respect and legitimacy. This year, weekly meetings, bi-weekly issues, article commitments and requirements, and journalism-class meetings will make the US News real—or at least serious. The US News is now a commitment, and I hope that our work this year will reflect the work.
Thank you for reading this year—it means a lot to all of here at the US News.
Questions or comments? Email the Editor-in-Chief at [email protected]