By Amy Flis
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
According to Chinese tradition, a new haircut marks a fresh start. Well, I know that a number of students return this year with new haircuts, even if they aren’t looking forward to the start of this new school year.
You can, however, look forward to another year of solid reporting and coverage in the HiLite, and I would like to personally welcome you to the next volume. This year, you will see even more HiLite online logos referring to additional information on the drastically expanding Web coverage. Through this expansion, the publication embraces the universal trend of shifting media access. The method of accessing information, especially for young people, is changing. According to Editor and Publisher, America’s oldest journal covering the newspaper industry, 7 percent of those 3,204 adults polled in the 2006 survey released by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press get news from new technologies such as cell phones, personal digital assistants and podcasts. Among those age 18-29, the number is 13 percent. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points.
These numbers mean that the younger audience seeks more modern information access, which further justifies the shift in news medium from print to online.
Over the course of the year, the online publication will grow to include daily coverage and constant updates with the most current information available. In contrast with the print-based coverage that is time-constrained, you can look to the online publication as a source for even more timely updates specifically applicable to this student body.
One of the great aspects of the Internet is the immediate access. In the past, print publications have been limited by time, by deadlines and by the inconveniences created by the time gap between the day the pages are sent to be printed and the day of publication. Now, the online publication eliminates those problems. Daily updates and a “photo of the day” will be realities this year.
The sports calendar moves online this year to free that space for additional stories. Also, the calendar page in the publication, you will notice in the next issue, looks very different from last year, and the publication as whole puts more emphasis on the online extras that the Web site has.
The Web site offers more than just information. It also has links to other relevant sites and offers the opportunity to comment on recent stories and issues. As a public media should, it can now function as a forum for student voices, even more so than in past years. The online newspaper will include more polls, surveys and other opportunities for comment than ever before.
The print publication will, of course, continue to come out every few weeks, and the caliber of work presented by the newspapers of past years will continue.
Don’t be alarmed if you see minor changes in the nameplate, either. These do not represent any drastic change in the print publication but are simply a fresh look for the new year. Hopefully, the new design will also provide more straightforward references to the inside of the publication. However, as with literally everything else concerning this publication, if you have any comment, please voice it either through the Web site or through the more old-fashioned letter to the editor.
This new year does present its own set of opportunities and challenges, as with every year, but they are challenges this staff is prepared to meet. This year’s paper will continue the tradition of serving this school with current information and wide coverage while attempting to engage the student body even further with broadened opportunities for online feedback. It just has a new haircut. Amy is the editor-in-chief of the HiLite. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.