We’re Back!

After 5 years of the school’s paper being inactive, The Commoner is finally back.


Photo by Lucy Bowles

Newspaper staff in room 222 working hard on their stories for The Commoner.

When you think of a newspaper, what usually comes to mind is the classic newspaper. The paper that you hold in your hand, as you drink your morning coffee without a care in the world. However, The Commoner, the school newspaper, has evolved to be something more than that – it has evolved into a news website that can be viewed at any time. 

The role of journalism in our school is very important, as it gives students the information they need on various events going on around the school. Not every story will have a profound impact, but it does make a difference in the community when it has a thriving journalistic publication.  

 What makes The Commoner being a website better? Well, a long time ago The Commoner was being published as an 8 to 12-page paper every four weeks. The printing cost was around $700-800 per issue, and if color was wanted, each color cost extra. The yearly newspaper printing budget was in the thousands and paid for with ASB funds. It became one of the largest expenses in the ASB budget.  

 So over time it was decided that The Commoner should go digital as it cost less money. So instead of having to find where the paper was and lugging it around under your arm or shoving it into your backpack to read later you can simply log onto your computer and look up the website. The website is a great accomplishment for The Commoner staff as each member in the design team put in all their effort to make it look perfect. And each writer worked their hardest to publish informational and fun stories for your enjoyment.  

 So, what makes this class and being on the newspaper staff so great? First off anyone can sign up, whether you are an athlete, artist, photographer, musician, computer nerd, welder—you name it. Some of the strongest staffs are the ones that are the most diverse. Diversity is very important for a newspaper staff. For example, if there are only AP students/staff members they see the world and the school a whole different way, so it is really important to have students who have different kinds of experiences on campus so that different viewpoints are represented. If a publication is tasked with covering the entire campus and knowing what’s going on all over campus, then we would need to have people who are involved in all the various parts of the school 

 Once you learn the basic skills of journalism you have free reign to write anything you want. Newspaper is a creative outlet that can help students stay excited and on their toes. And every staff, every issue, every day is different, surprising, challenging, and fun. You get to work with some of most amazing people. Also you don’t have to be the greatest writer to join newspaper.  

 In class you are taught on how to improve your writing skills, but there are other jobs that don’t even involve writing. In order to be a successful publication you need to have all the different jobs and moving parts to make it work, that’s what makes for an excellent publication. Not just acquiring the best writers but acquiring the people who are excited to be there and care about the paper.  

 As previous adviser Kay Locey once said, “Doing an effective job takes hard work but it’s worth it!”  

What is most needed in newspaper though is a leadership hierarchy, as explained by adviser Jeff Nusser, “so in my previous staffs, it was always like, ‘okay Tyler, will you help so and so with their thing,’ and he’s like ‘sure,’ and he’s a senior and he’s been on staff for three years, and away he goes to go help this sophomore with the thing that they need to do cause there’s only one of me.”  

Basically, staff who are experienced can help teach new staff members how to complete the things that need to be done, so there is no cause for stress. 

Newspaper is a great class, students become better writers and it also gives them practice talking with unfamiliar people. Which will probably help them with future careers. But the best thing about newspaper is getting the sense of satisfaction that comes from working individually, or as a team, on a project that is student-driven. 

I think being on newspaper can be one of the most challenging, frustrating, demanding, exciting memorable experiences high school can offer and will give you skills you’ll use the rest of your life whether or not you ever work on a newspaper again,” Locey said.