HHS Press: Past, Present, and Now Moving Forward

Jenn

'Journalism for the 21st Century' teachers Mr. Haas and Mr. Worrell pose with Editor in Chief Jenn Tate. Photo by unknown.

An Editorial by Jenn Tate
Since becoming Editor-in-Training of the Newspaper Club last year and becoming Editor-in-Chief this year, I, along with the members of the Newspaper Club, have faced one consistent challenge: to bring attention to the school newspaper so people will want to read it.

Despite the challenge, being proud of the paper’s transformation has made the job easier. Originally a printed paper called “The Voice”, the school newspaper first went online to a site that allowed it to have articles and photos. More recently, the paper moved to WordPress and became what it is today, HHS Press. Now with articles, photos, slideshows, videos, a comment feature, and a professional look, the site is great, in my opinion. Plus, in a world where computers are used so frequently, the paper couldn’t be more convenient to view.

Layout isn’t the only change to have happened to the paper; this year is the first year that a journalism course, named “Journalism for the 21st Century”, is offered at HHS. Now, a full class of students has been added to the paper’s staff, which has significantly increased the amount of content on the site. “The fact that we have a nice looking paper with a lot of content for the viewers is what I’m most proud of,” says Newspaper Club advisor and co-teacher of the journalism class Mr. Sterling Worrell, “It finally feels like we have a real paper.”

Of course, HHS Press isn’t perfect. “We need to work on speeding up the time between the event and the post date,” Mr. Worrell explains, “It’s not like the old [Newspaper] Club days when a student once started to write a movie review on its opening day only to finish the review when the movie was released on DVD, but we still need to work on the turn-around time.” Despite this one area for improvement, I still think the site has become quite impressive.

So why aren’t more students at Hopkinton High checking out the paper? It seems that part of the reason may be that they don’t even know of the paper’s existence. The Newspaper Club and I have worked hard to address this issue. We built quite an email list at Club Fair, held a scavenger hunt contest, that was not very successful, and we continued throughout the year to make announcements, put up posters around school, send out Facebook messages to the paper’s group, and more. Nicole Rumrill, a previous Assistant Editor, and I also were interviewed by HopNews in an attempt to spread awareness about the paper. Since the Editor of HopNews, Mr. Robert Falcione, was kind enough to post a link to HHS Press on that site and now posts some sports articles from our site on HopNews as well, we have been getting more hits, but the number of page views per day is still only in the low hundreds.

I will be graduating on June 4, 2010. As of now, Mr. Worrell, the Newspaper Club’s advisor, and I have not found someone interested in taking my place as Editor in Chief next year. It seems that bringing attention to the paper will also be the challenge of that next Editor. However, you can help. Leave any comments you may have about other ways for us to make improvements to the site and draw more attention to the paper. Since you’re reading this, you’ve seen the site and the cool features it has. Spread the word to all your friends that we do, first of all, have a school newspaper, and secondly that it is worth viewing!

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