Journalism is a way in which individuals can be informed about breaking events happening in their community and to be able to write about these unpredictable events, journalists are often prepared through joining the staff of a school-sanctioned newspaper in order to gain experience.
A typical newspaper staff involves having an organized team of writers, editors and photographers who can come together to produce stories when events occur.
This task of entering a staffroom and beginning a career as a journalist has shown to be feasible for college-age students and professionals.
However, for many high school stu- dents, this task can be a challenge. For the Corvallis High School journalism club, students have been able to handle this task with ease—to the surprise of its advisor Matthew King.
Matthew King has been the advisor of the CHS Journalism Club for four years. According to King, this club was offered in past years as an official school course, but was discontinued until approximately four years ago.
In 2016, several students approached King and asked if he would advise their club. While King accepted this position, he did so on the basis that the club would be almost entirely student run, with his oversight at the end stages of printing the paper.
“I am the final line to make sure that everything that his newspaper is publishing is not libelous and is appropriate for a school newspaper,” King said.
Prior to the pandemic, King said that their journalism club had hopes of moving their newspaper online in order to publish stories in between print issues but due to remote learning, the transition has made it harder to do so.
While there is no direct connection to the CHS Journalism club and Oregon State University’s The Daily Barometer, King stressed the similarity of the student-run nature within the club to that of college newspapers.
Students partcipating in the club both pitch their own stories and choose the leadership within the club on a seniority basis.
“[Students write about] a mixture of specific things that are happening in our school combined with an article or two about the great-goings on in the world,” King said. “I think the last issue before COVID-19 hit is a piece about the Democratic primaries.”
The production process takes approximately eight to nine weeks to complete one print issue, according to King. Following the student contribution of stories, the finished stories are then sent to student editors and finally to King before it is sent off to press.
“The pretty remarkable thing about our program is how student-driven it is,” King said. “They really took the bull by the horns and built this newspaper from scratch.”