Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cheaters, bathroom news and a dead skunk

Delving into online high school newspapers has proven fascinating.  As links have come in  (see rail at right)  I've read about dress codes,  wrecks outside schools and students taking part in Occupy Charlotte.

In the Providence Prowl,  Arjun Gupta produced a sophisticated report on cheating on senior exit projects.  It's fine traditional journalism -- but the most intriguing online reporting I saw is this snippet posted Oct. 27 by Norah Richmond of the Hopewell Siren:

This morning Hopewell Titans were welcomed by a perplexing prank. The entire 500 hall smelled of an angry skunk smell. When trying to find the source teachers were told by students that there was a dead skunk and banner hanging from the wall outside of room 506. Hough High was responsible for the prank, obviously noted by their banner.

No, it's not meaty investigation or deathless prose. But it gets to what online news does best: It's an immediate report on the thing everyone was talking about that day.

Meanwhile, I got a chuckle hearing from Jeff Joyce,  whom I met a few years ago while covering his elaborate role-playing Civil War trivia contest at Northwest School of the Arts.  Now he chairs the social studies department at Hough,  and he emailed to let me know the school doesn't have a full-fledged newspaper yet,  but he has started a "bathroom press."

Um ... what?

"We write one-page articles on things we think are relevant to students and post them in the bathroom stalls ... kind of fun and funny at the same time. My kids are doing some really cool articles," he explained.
No word on whether the skunk prank made bathroom headlines.



therestofthestory said...

I am thrilled to hear Jeff Joyce is still with CMS. I was at NWSA when he was there and he applied many unique ways to connect with the students.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long before Bud and the gang considers this media insubordination and orders the UNCC tactical warfare team in to remove the student Occupy Hough journalists. Keep it up Jeff!

Mudd E. Diction said...

Thanks for featuring student journalism.

This is an example of the type of activity that can spawn students participating in and taking note of the immediate world around them through media. What a great opportunity.

Production newsrooms most often produce a homogenized brew of data that has little to no meaning in our daily lives. Snippets of superficial interest without actionable value.

The student alternative press offers opportunity to develop talent and provides students a somewhat independent voice.

I didn’t read a news story about skunk smells in the halls at Hopewell in the Observer. Am I now enlightened? Sure, tell me more!

Much like your blog the alternative student press is an outlet for local interests and opinion. Even when published in bathrooms, the mainstream alternative is heard and shared.

Share your voice, OCCUPY BUD!

Anonymous said...

Is there a student newspaper at CPCC?

Ann Doss Helms said...

I don't know about CPCC -- or other colleges in our area, for that matter. I'm more focused on K-12 coverage, but if anyone sends me links to college papers for our area, I'm happy to post them.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any opinion as to why the largest community college in the Carolinas would not have a student newspaper?

Ann Doss Helms said...

Not sure if you're asking me or readers. I don't even know if CPCC does have a newspaper, let alone whether that's the norm for community colleges.

Anonymous said...

I met Jeff Joyce during two separate fire drills at NWSA while volunteering. The fire drills were proficient and highly successful.

Many students at NWSA were upset when they heard Mr. Joyce was transferring to a different CMS school. Students told me their school newspaper was outstanding under his leadership. I'm hopeful our new school board doesn't squelch the unique ways teachers like this connect with their students while trying to evaluate teacher effectiveness using standardized measures. The good news is there are still schools like NWSA that value a teacher's ability to effectively go off-script and customize their lesson plans which can create an exciting educational environment for students to learn. It's about challenging students but also engaging them in the educational process. Giving teachers some flexibility and autonomy in the classroom to fully utilize their strengths is important. Teaching is a science and an art.

Anonymous said...

While I'm on the subject of NWSA..

The small black-box theater where students practice Shakespearian monologues and learn about playwrights like Tennessee Williams turned fingers and toes blue this week due to a broken heating system which building services is aware of. Can someone please bust through CMS bureaucracy and fix this problem ASAP? Seriously, it's like Siberia in there.


Anonymous said...

Anon 11:37, I will give you one better. Several teachers form CMS had to sit through a high level PRAXUS(sp) exam at Garinger last Saturday. There was no heat and the clasrooms were around 40 degrees for them to sit through 2 2 hour tests.

Typical CMS! Foolish to even try to fix that mess.

Jay said...

Do you have any opinion as to why the largest community college in the Carolinas would not have a student newspaper?