Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Community newspaper revives monthly S.D. high school paper that was the victim of budget cuts

A community newspaper in South Dakota has revived the local high school's paper, which had been the victim of budget cuts, Sean Stroh reports for Editor & Publisher. Mitchell High School's newspaper is The Kernel because Mitchell is home of the Corn Palace, a building made of corn. It was not only the source for school news, but also provided a course for school credit for aspiring journalists.

When the school paper folded, The Daily Republic, also based in Mitchell, was right there to lend a hand, Stroh writes. Luke Hagen, managing editor of the Republic, told Stroh, “We decided to help because we need future journalists. Editors all over the country will agree with that, but it’s awesome to have an opportunity to actually make a difference, so I didn’t want us to lose out on that chance.”

Stroh writes, "Instead of being offered as a regular class for credit, The Kernel now bears the unique distinction of operating as an after-school club newspaper led by the Republic." The first edition of the monthly paper, about 1,000 are printed by the Republic, was published in October. Each edition "is eight pages and consists of a news, features, sports and opinion section. Typically, students cover on-campus topics, with the opinion pages also featuring a movie column as well."

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"Every week, Hagen meets with the staff of The Kernel for about an hour (four students with about five part-timers who write one or two stories/columns for each edition)," Stroh writes. "While Hagen has been the primary leader of the program, the entire Republic staff has been receptive to helping the students if needed." Sara Bertsch, lifestyles and education reporter, assists in the editing and design process of the school paper. She told Stroh, “They are still learning how the newspaper business works and it’s exciting to see them fall in love with it the same way I did in high school. This is where it starts.”

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