High School Newspapers Are the Secret Media Publishing Dynasties of the Future
I’m sure there is someone working in the bowels of the New York Times building on strategies that do not involve the use of pulp paper and printing ink to inform the populace, but you can never quite shake the nostalgia of wanting a good black, white and read all over newspaper. It seems that the media world has long been heading towards a tipping point where the web is going to be more powerful than the old print world. It appears that the schools that teach the students to become the journalists of tomorrow have either already seen this tipping point and given up in the face of lack of resources, or they have quietly succumbed to their lack of ingenuity, or bureaucratic hurdles that would allow them to make solutions that would benefit them in pursuing a more high-tech approach to journalistic publishing.
The writers at City Room have discovered a report that shows that the percentage of high school newspapers being created has dropped, by a lot. And you would think that those schools that are pushing toward the web as the platform for delivering news, only 19 out of 44 have actually published anything.
Many grown-up journalists look to the Web as the future. But she said that while 44 high schools had set up Web sites for their newspapers, only 19 had posted any material. One pressing need for schools who want to publish the old-fashioned way is computers with layout software like InDesign and Photoshop.
“No matter what platform journalism hits, and we don’t know, you need to have the training young,” she said. “You need to hook kids early on the importance of covering things, the First Amendment, why it’s all important.”
So, what’s the deal? Lack of money to hire teachers? Lack of models that would enable students and administrations to make money off of these publishing platforms? Has anyone thought of this?
In an age where social networking is linking up standard curriculum teachers who can now drag-and-drop their notes to each other, where is the ingenuity that would enable journalism shops in high schools to think up ways to generate an income from their publishing strategies? Are gatekeepers keeping them back? This could be an age of micro-journalism and hyper-local journalism. And high schools could lead. They are, after all, the nexus of the community. What is produced in the school should have a great impact on the city at large. How can that not include publishing, media and journalism?
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