The Anniston Star is assembling an advisory panel of high school students, with first preference to juniors and seniors. Here’s what we have in mind. Our panelists would regularly visit The Star’s offices, perhaps once every four weeks. We’ll get together to discuss various aspects of the newspaper — reporting, editing, photography, digital operations, circulation, ad sales, etc. We’ll also solicit panelists’ views on items in the news and how they would improve our work.
Perhaps most importantly, our panelists would have the opportunity to regularly publish columns in The Star.
Newsrooms are famous for their ability to consume massive quantities of snack food. As I wrote this column, the last of two loaves of banana bread prepared early Friday morning by Community editor Debbie Reaves was being finished off, mere hours after its arrival in the newsroom. Hence, all gatherings of The Star’s high school panel will include top-notch snacks. Let’s call it the full-immersion newsroom experience.
What will high school students get out of this exercise? I mean, besides the obvious fame and glory that come with seeing one’s words in print, a-hem. They will learn about journalism and its basic tenets — fairness, accuracy and accountability.
They can see a newsroom first-hand, watching the process of publishing news, either in print or online.
They can add a fun and different experience to their college applications.
They can meet and get to know like-minded teens from their community.
All this might lead them to careers in journalism or newspapers. Or it might just make them savvier consumers of media.
What does The Star get from this? We get to hear from young people, a segment of our community often overlooked. We will encourage them to share their insights with our audience.
A perfect example could be found in last Sunday’s Life & Arts section. White Plains senior Alex McFry profiled his classmate Hunter Gentry, a young man with a passion for local history. It was the first in our Untypical Teens series of videos.
So, what about it, high-schoolers? We’ll provide the snacks and details on how we work, and in exchange you give us a little time and your opinions.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with some basic information.
High school (or if you are homeschooled):
Reasons why you’d like to join the panel:
We’ll review your application and get back to you. Good luck.
Bring historic photos to our photo-scanning sessions
Residents will have three opportunities this week to contribute photos to the Anniston Star’s latest book project, “Calhoun County Memories.”
The book will reproduce vintage photos from our area along with Anniston Star front pages over the past 100 years.
The public is invited to public scanning sessions on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. There is a limit of 10 photos per family.
The dates, times and locales are:
• Wednesday, Aug. 22, 9 a.m.-noon, The Anniston Star, 4305 McClellan Blvd.
• Thursday, Aug. 23, 2-5 p.m., the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County, 108 E. 10th St., Anniston.
• Friday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County.
More details are online at Calhoun.pictorialbook.com.
Bob Davis is editor of The Anniston Star. Contact him at 256-235-3540 or email@example.com. Twitter: twitter.com/EditorBobDavis.