In Feb. 26 IssueBy Derek AaronNews-Register Editor
Russell County High School's current student-run newspaper, The Anchor, is in its second year of existence and offers students and faculty a variety of reading options monthly, according to Robin Rixon, the multimedia publishing teacher who oversees the publication at the high school.
"Our main focus is to publish The Anchor," she said of the class of 15 RCHS seniors who have the class all year long. "We started the newspaper last school year so this is the second year for doing it."
Rixon said behind a push from students lobbying for the school newspaper she was able to secure the class in order to publish it last year.
"We got some ideas together and really it was student Alex Hoover last year that was key in bringing back the school newspaper," she said.
Of the 15 students who work on the paper, each are assigned specific roles, such as sports and general reporters, design, composition and layout.
"We have our random page which has "mystery couple," "what not to do at RCHS," "whose locker is this?," "whose tattoo is this?," you know, things that will be fun for students to read," Rixon said. "Student polls, surveys and our front page section. We've been drawing to see who will get to write our front page articles and they have to come up with their own articles."
Rixon also said the paper has a photographer who is in charge of taking photos and editing them using the photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop.
"We have two people in charge of editorials and we have a review section where we review books, movies or music," she said. The Anchor's extracurricular page features stories on students or school groups who may be doing big things outside of school hours. This page is also used for special occasions, for example, the February issue of the newspaper was Valentine's Day themed.
Rixon also said each issue also featured a club spotlight of an RCHS club and a college spotlight on one of the many state colleges that students are interested in.
Another page in the paper features student birthdays as well as the cafeteria schedule for the month.
"Then on the back we have student profiles each month and a different student is over each section," she said.
This year's co-editors include RCHS seniors Austin Foley and Makayla Goodson.
"Once the pages have been created in Adobe InDesign then Austin and Makayla read over and edit them," she said. "Then we turn them into an Adobe PDF before sending them to the printer at the Adair Progress (in Columbia)."
Each issue of The Anchor is 50 cents and Rixon said the students currently sell to both the high school and the middle school.
"We have four ads each month," she added. "We go out to businesses in the community and ask for donations for our paper to sponsor an ad. If it wasn't for those people we wouldn't have a newspaper."
Soon, though, as journalism continues to change, Rixon said the school newspaper would more than likely go to an all-online format.
"Either at the end of the school year or the beginning of next school year," Rixon said. "It would be more like a newsletter where there would be a link from the school website. That way it would be more accessible to parents and the community."
In doing this, there would be no cost to students and no cost to print the paper, which would be beneficial to all parties involved, she said.
As of now, all money collected for the sale of newspapers also goes toward the print bill.
"The school updated the technology in my room so that has made it easier to publish the newspaper now," she said. "A lot of these students are interested in journalism."
With journalism continuing to change in this digital age, RCHS looks to be at the forefront of that endeavor as well with plans for the online format already underway.