High school papers following the digital trend

Much like its more mainstream and collegial counterparts, high school media is getting into the swing of the digital landscape and testing out models that incorporate streaming video, social media and merges between broadcast and print.

Toward the end of 2012 alone, several high schools got cozier with the digital side of media, including Ohio’s Perrysburg High School, which launched eSomethin.com in October. According to the Toledo Blade, the school folded its print paper the previous year when not enough students signed up to take the journalism class. Not long after, The Blade stepped in and helped design the new website providing its own editors to serve as mentors.

Michigan’s Hartland High School has also gone more digital by launching an online edition to their paper, The Eagle. Hartland Patch reported that the paper was originally coming out in print every six weeks, but now it will come out every two weeks online. Rockland High School in Massachusetts also launched an online version of The Veritas, complete with multimedia components. According to ReporterNewspapers.com, Georgia’s Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School is making its Crimson and Gold newspaper online, as well as a quarterly print product. Meanwhile, North Atlanta High School launched an online newspaper before even going to print.

Ocean City High School ditched the print edition of The Billows newspaper altogether, at least for the time being, and merged with the school’s cinema production club, which runs a newscast called Current OC. Originally, the Current OC could be watched every Friday during homeroom, but due to a change in schedule, homeroom ceased to exist, said Gregory Wheeldon, the school’s TV and media teacher, who previously worked in film and video production. So the Current OC merged with The Billows. Now, the paper’s content can be found on the Web alongside the news program that is streamed in video on the site, featuring newscasts from the cinema club. Wheeldon said since they merged, general traffic, as well as traffic through Twitter and Facebook, has been doing well. Meanwhile, the Current OC program is also broadcast over the area’s local cable access channels.

The school has plans to get a printer to put out print editions of the paper. “But frankly, I think we’re doing just fine with them logging on and reading it [online],” he said. Meanwhile, some students are even interested in going into print journalism, broadcast or filmmaking after high school. Going digital now will surely prepare them for the ever-increasing multimedia landscape.

–Katrina M. Mendolera