Behind the Scenes of Digital Journalism!!

Skylar Newingham, Feature Writer

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The Student News Site of New Castle Senior High School

At New Castle Senior High School we have a class called Digital Journalism. Indeed, students can put their writing and journalistic talents to the test. Students can write a vast assortment of articles and topics to be published online for the New Castle High School Digital Newspaper -The Eye of the Hurricane. The digital journalism team also works closely with Mrs. Flora for photography and Mr. Cowart at NC NEWS. Our team ranges from tenth to eleventh graders as well as, our Senior Editor and occasionally one or two ninth graders.

At New Castle the digital journalism team changed from a traditional print publication to a state of the art digital platform in 2015. When Mr. Schooley retired, Mr. Abe was asked to fill the open position for the upcoming school year. Mr. Abe researched the various media options and believed philosophically it would be better if our school newspaper was transitioned from paper to an online platform. Our first two years were a learning curve for the students as they explored the medium and worked on the platform provided by Yourstudent News. Yourstudent News after years of providing various platforms for many high schools went out of business. Given the situation, this led to additional research and a transition to the SNO platform 2017. Given the fact that most young students get their news on-line it made sense to make this change for twenty first century learning.

Without a doubt, it is a sophisticated process to finish and upload an article for final publication. We have four major publications: Fall Edition, Holiday Edition, Spring Edition and the Senior Edition.  Each student will select their own article under five major categories- COVER, FEATURE, SPORTS, ENTERTAINMENT, and EXTRACURRICULAR. The Publication (Story) Board is a key tool used by students to organize the upcoming publication. Brainstorming and group communication are utilized to come up with ideas for the articles for the publication. Once when we have all of our facts and research completed we commence the writing process which requires a vast majority of revisions and editing.  The time it takes to finish an article varies on students assignment and what type of article it is.  However,  articles are edited and revised numerous times before they are uploaded. Publishing includes previewing the layout of the articles before publication. As Mr. Abe stated Headlines and Deadlines are one of the most important facets of journalism today.

The Eye of the Hurricane has a publishing and editing team.  In addition,  Mr. Abe oversees our efforts and revises (edits) student articles before they get uploaded to our site. Abe has a strong belief that the site is a student driven organization and that students need to have responsibility and ownership of their articles and organization.  Students also assist with IT issues and public relations as needed to promote our paper. Everyone has a role and most importantly students work together in a team atmosphere.  As you progress in digital journalism students are given more responsibility. Emphasis is placed on deadlines and photography (Imaging) with the goal of providing a high quality digital newspaper. Digital journalism allows students to have more communication with one another.  Students receive an understanding of organizational theory, as well as, real life work experiences.