By Alicia Brown and Faith Oak
As high school students, it often feels like our worlds revolve around an intangible future. We are told that the arbitrary word is the end goal, but at the same time it seems perpetually unattainable. It is buried beneath the weight of GPAs, college, jobs, and relationships, and lost among our expectations of homework-completing robots, summer vacations to Mars, and “Back to the Future” style hoverboards.
But a step back from the stress of these endless plans and unachievable ideals is all it takes to see that the future of the real world is coming to fruition as we speak. Your school newspaper’s first all-female staff, a team of 16 empowered young women, was introduced this year, along with new touchscreen Chromebooks, new teachers, and even a new blacktop. The world within our green gates is buzzing with change, and we, the Plaid Press, are here for it.
In the past, our publication has remained comfortably beneath the radar, but we have always had an important voice to share. Now that it is a new year, we are more than ready to make that voice heard.
Starting with our new masthead in all caps, we are shouting out our name, letting it be known to everyone. This year, we are striving to create a more uniform newspaper by making sure each design choice is intentful and contributes to a sense of continuity. What will not change is our commitment to high quality journalism, which shows through each issue in carefully chosen articles that have been pressed through numerous rounds of edits and revisions. Our new, fresh designs and hard-hitting stories will dig deeper into the thoughts and opinions of the school community.
As the world of technology continues to evolve and grow, while appreciation for old-fashioned pen and paper diminishes, the art of journalism has become lost on many. As high school students, we understand this completely. Our team is prepared to cover the most relevant, hard-hitting news in the community, and we are moving fast to extend our reach in order to keep up with the demands of a web-oriented generation.
We will achieve this by increasing our online and social media presence, with a weekly quota of at least two posts each on our official Plaid Press Instagram and Twitter pages. All the articles featured in our printed issues are posted on the Plaid Press website, which can be found in your School Bookmarks, as well as two additional web-exclusive articles each week.
Additionally, after receiving brand new video equipment last year, we are finally ready to put it to full use and dedicate more time to our video team. Students can expect to see profile videos, broadcasts, and other feature videos with each issue to highlight some of our most interesting stories.
The future we are designing within our community is one of peer support and encouragement. We want to make it clear that there will be no more newspapers left over for the design craft class to use for paper mache, and none for teachers to throw out as soon as they are delivered to each classroom. From the perspective of some, it may seem like the same old, same old, but we are moving ahead at full speed.
All that said, our most important focus this year is for each member of our staff to reach her personal goals both in and outside of the newspaper, whether it be becoming a stronger writer, becoming more comfortable with interviews, or even cutting down on procrastination. We are already getting to know one another as fellow journalists, figuring out our strengths and weaknesses, and building each other up in a team effort.
Throughout the years, the purpose of journalism has remained constant: it opens up a world for people to better understand and communicate with their society. For us, a high school publication, this translates into a chance to connect with the people and the heart of this school. The Plaid Press is created by the students, for the students. We are advocating for connectivity within the paper and throughout the school, for greater communication and a larger platform for student voices. To us, that is the future.