The new middle school student newspaper, the Eagle Gazette, was distributed to the campus community just before the winter break. Pieced together by a large team of editors and writers, the paper covers a wide variety of topics, including food, school life and athletics.
Its origins stretch back to the start of the 2021-22 school year, when a newspaper club was founded and quickly grew beyond expectations, eventually bringing in more than 30 staff members. Advisors Jennifer Walrod and Julie Meadows intended for the newspaper to be almost entirely student-run, limiting their role to weekly meetings with editors to discuss their plans and any difficulties they had encountered.
Eighth grader Ananya Pradhan one of the paper’s five editors-in-chief, joined the paper shortly after being elected to the middle school leadership council. In addition to appealing to her love of writing and design, the Gazette offered students a voice on campus. “I believe that the ability for us, the students, to have a creative outlet to express our beliefs, talents, and opinions, is an incredibly valuable opportunity and necessity, as I am a strong supporter of the idea that the student’s voices should be represented and celebrated throughout our community,” she said.
The paper’s five editors each oversee a different section of the paper and advise contributors in addition to planning out meetings and setting deadlines. Editors also contributed to the early design of the paper. “We brainstorm with writers to think of intriguing articles,” said Phoebe Lee, grade 7, another of the Gazette’s editors. “I loved seeing all the writers brainstorm about their ideas together for the future editions. After so many revisions and much coordination, it was such a rewarding feeling to see all the writers’ ideas materialize into the first edition of the Eagle Gazette.”
In future issues, Pradhan said she hopes to see more story ideas pitched by student writers, and Lee said she wanted to see more sections added to the paper, such as one dedicated to learning more about middle school teachers. “In addition, sections like movie or gaming reviews will help to reach a wider audience,” said Lee.
Pradhan found it heartening to see an enthusiasm for writing in so many of her peers. “It always amazes me to see how many enthusiastic peers I have who love writing, and me leading them in growing as writers of the Eagle Gazette has been truly invaluable,” she said, adding that the Gazette is also helping to preserve printed media amidst the prevalence of digital information: “We’re doing our part to also keep the printed news alive, available, and accessible to everyone, even for the younger generations, who will be our future writers and leaders.”