'Tiger Talk' makes resurgence – online
As if rising from the ashes of the past, "Tiger Talk," Northwestern's high school newspaper made its reappearance online to a welcoming audience.
Since its first issue in October, the staff has continually produced subsequent issues available to the school and community online.
According to Editor-in-Chief Cidney Bachert, newspaper production is going "very well."
"[The paper is] getting everyone engaged and it's open to the community," Bachert said. "My parents think it's very cool."
News Editor Sarah Overstrum was happy with the newspaper's debut.
"It came together really fast and everyone worked together," she said. "It was really awesome our small school could put together a paper like Tiger Talk."
"A lot of the kids have been excited," said the paper's adviser Lissa Opolsky. "The kids were telling me people were sharing articles over social media. I could log on and see the traffic of how many people went to the site."
Print media has been changing dramatically and the same can be said of high school newspapers.
"More of the well-known newspapers are going digital," Opolksy said. "I remember reading about how newspapers would be extinct in a few years. "The [online] newspaper is more accessible to the community."
Bachert said the online newspaper makes it easier to communicate with others.
"Our generation has grown up around technology," Bachert said. "I'm definitely so attached to my phone, but I know that it gets you out of touch with reality."
Newspapers can be a reality check.
"What we say about the school is relevant to your school life," said Overstrum. "Everyone needs to know. Yeah, you can find it on your smart phone [but] news is more authentic. Besides, you don't always know where it's coming from if you rely only on your phone."
In her role as Editor-in-Chief, Bachert is a jack of all trades.
"I edit the other articles," she said. "I take pictures, and I've written a letter from the editor."
Bachert considers setting up good journalism practice as one of her key missions.
"For example, there are some articles that don't have quotes and quotes are imperative so we're working on that," she explained.
Bachert and Overstrum work along side Sports Editor Isabel Dietrich and Opinion Editor Taylor Kocher.
"We're up to 42 kids," Opolsky said. "After the first issue came out, we had a few more students join the staff."
Noah Seng DeLong is head photographer.
"I've enjoyed taking photos since I was young," he said. "When Mrs. Opolsky told me she was putting the newspaper together, I asked her if I could take pictures.
"Generally, I come in with a pretty good notion of what I am trying to get.
"It all comes with experience and is based on the situation."
DeLong works off of a list.
"[But] a lot of the photos are situational," DeLong said. "If I see something I want to shoot, I do. For instance we have a fashion issue coming up and I'm looking for something different. You have to have a visual aid for everything. I'm a visual person."
Opolsky said the staff meets Tuesday and Thursday, during flex periods.
"But once the articles have been assigned, [staff members] can come to work on their own time and then we just communicate via Google docs," Opolsky said. "I never take a stack of papers home.
"The editors work online. I check [the articles] and put them on the website. We're doing a bimonthly release but we're releasing an interim [issue] of about 20 articles."
Bachert said she was pleasantly surprised about the way staff members convey their ideas.
"It makes me smile [at their] eloquence," she said. "For example, take Christina's [Shackett] article about college woes. It was definitely relatable."
The online newspaperallows the staff to change the appearance of the publication with the different options provided.
"A carousel streams the top five stories continually," Opolsky said. "A headline ticker streams any sports information or breaking news."
Since "Tiger Talk" is now digital, it is also interactive.
"Members of the community can comment on articles," Opolsky said. "Once I approve them, the comments are visible for all the community to see. The people who offer comments can post their profile pictures along with their comments as well."
In its most recent posting, "Tiger Talk" staff asked readers to respond to the question "What part of the day are you most productive?"
"We can also attach media so we wanted to upload videos and photos from the pep rally we had during Bulldog week," said Jaedon Muhl, Tiger Talk's fundraising chief. "I'm also doing a story on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and we're going to upload those videos."
Opolsky traces her interest in journalism to her childhood.
"I was writing in sixth grade about what my school was doing, about the projects and the Thanksgiving play the third graders put on," she explained. "I started to like writing because I had a positive experience with it."
Overstrum joined the staff for a number of reasons.
"I only heard good things," she said. "I took journalism as a class with Mr. D [Ron D'Argenio] and that was something that I loved. I love the idea that what you say can impact other people."
"My grandfather gave me my first camera," said DeLong who described him as an adventurer. "He was always into the outdoors and he always took a camera with him. He has a collection of cameras that he has assembled over the years and he gave me one."
"I think it's so important for the people of our generation to know what is going on in the world," said Bachert. "We're so attached to our phone but we do need to know what is going besides checking on social media."
"Journalism on a big scale is the communication of information and is incredibly important," said DeLong. "You have news stations that are very biased, so I'm not a big fan of that, but knowledge is understanding and you don't want to be left guessing."
"Tiger Talk" is at tigertalk.com.