Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2001

High school class creates on-line newspaper

March 7, 2001

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This year, Tonganoxie High School's publication class has produced an on-line newspaper.

Tonganoxie is getting a head start at learning and experiencing what the meaning is of an online newspaper. This year the school started a newspaper online, the Digital Chieftain.

Students who participate in Shannon Nickell's publications class are getting the first chance to put together the high school's only newspaper. They not only have the job of putting together a yearbook now but also are compiling a newspaper covering school events and interesting material to read.

"The hardest part was getting the understanding of a newspaper to the school, students, and community," Nickell said.

"The paper is a great opportunity for young writers to develop and share their writing talent with the community," said Jessica Elliott, editor. "One of the things I will take with me from the Digital Chieftain is the experience and dedication everyone puts into the paper to make it a success."

The Digital Chieftain provides sports coverage, editorials, calendars, a mystery hunt, and school events. Students are assigned articles and deadlines and then the stories are put online.

The original intent of the online school newspaper was to help students work with computer technology and writing. But the program has evolved into something better.

The newspaper has given the students a chance to have freedom with writing and express opinions through the articles they write. This month articles have been written by Brooke Ojala, Joseph Sledd, and Ronnie Crook.

Ojala wrote a story called "The Holiday in Sheep's Clothing," a satirical editorial about Valentine's Day and the 10 ways to get through the stress of it. Sledd wrote a sports article about the Tonganoxie Tournament. Crook's article was based on situation of dampness in some Tonganoxie Grade School classrooms and the actions taken by the district to take care of the problem.

A recent new addition to the newspaper has been a short movie on the site. This edition showed a documentary on Tonganoxie wrestling.

"I enjoy the freedom we have with our writing and the opportunities we get to use our own talents to produce a newspaper," Sledd said. "I am finally starting to understand class objectives and the class is coming together. I would like to see more people giving it a chance, reading it more and giving us feedback."

Some future goals Nickell would like to see carried out would be for the Digital Chieftain to expand to cover the junior high. Moreover, she would like to see the photographers use the digital cameras to create a photographic essay.

The Digital Chieftain can be found on the Internet at

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