student working on a laptop

The Debut of "Inside the Lighthouse"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

landmark high school newspaper staffThe students in Mr. Harrison's Senior Study Skills class proudly published the debut issue of Inside the Lighthouse on May 1. The 10-page newspaper covers a broad range of topics, from socialist vs capitalist economies to the courtship of Mr. and Mrs. Meade, from Mr. Genetelli's controversial move on sugary drinks to how to build dynamite.

Mr. Harrison suggested the project to the class, and the students eagerly embraced the idea. "Landmark had a paper years ago, and I thought it would be great to bring it back," he said. "It was cool to see the class so excited about it. It was a challenging project. They really drove the project, from beginning to end."

Learning on the Job

The editorial staff includes Kevin Dalton, Brynne Arsenault, Jon Ahern, Bennett Malbon, and Suzy Eustis. Each student wrote two articles for the paper and was free to choose the topic. They spent three weeks brainstorming, writing, editing, laying out, editing, and editing some more. 

"I don't think we grasped the full gravity of the project at first," said Malbon. "It was a very long process, but I think we all enjoyed the autonomy of being able to choose our own articles." Malbon seemed surprised—and thrilled—that his article on an explosive made it into print.

The articles required the students to research their topics and conduct interviews. There's a knack to framing questions in a way that prompts a thoughtful response from the subject, and the young journalists elicited enthusiastic, informed quotes. "I definitely learned interview skills," said Ahern. "It's really important to feel comfortable with the person."

The students recently wrapped up the second issue of Inside the Lighthouse and plan to publish it in the next few weeks. Arsenault would like to see the paper become a monthly publication. She said she received positive feedback from other students on campus, and challenged some to find typos. They didn't.