Journalism Class Attempts to Revive School Newspaper




    The Elevator (pdf)

       Written by Oregon City High School Students

       Journalism Class - Fall 2016



























By Nolan Woodward, Reporter


By the end of the fall term, students of this year’s new Journalism & Publication class, headed by English teacher Pat McDonald, are determined to revive Oregon City High School’s newspaper, The Elevator, whose last edition was printed in 2011.


McDonald intends for the newspaper to be in the style of a magazine with features, profiles, editorials and photos, to appeal to and educate the student body and the school faculty. McDonald hopes a school paper will become more frequent if the one-time printing this year proves to be successful. “Ideally, that would be my goal. However there are a lot of unknowns,” McDonald said. 


The Elevator will also publish stories on the school website with assistance from school webmaster, Kathy Ebenal. The web format will be reserved for news briefs that are most timely, including events and sports.


The posts made to the website will be oriented to news and sports information, rather than opinion pieces or editorials. “Writing and editing online articles typically takes a day or two, which makes them perfect for current news,” Ebenal said. “A lot more people see the website. An article we posted last year actually got about ten-thousand hits.”


The class generated many new ideas involving the revived newspaper, including the possibility of involving the school’s weekly video update, OCTV, as well enlisting other classes and clubs, including Digital Photography and art classes. “It would be great to involve all aspects of the school,” said McDonald. “But, baby steps,” he added.  McDonald hopes that funding will come from a Student Council grant. “That would be ideal because this would benefit the whole student body.”


The Elevator, named after downtown Oregon City’s municipal elevator, dates back to as far as the 1920s. But, at the turn of the last century, “papers just kind of faded out,” said McDonald. He, along with the twenty-seven student reporters in the class, are determined to get a new run of the paper off the ground. 


“It isn’t a small challenge,” said McDonald. “It’s harder because students have no memory of the paper, so it’s difficult to  replicate it.”  


McDonald has the new edition of The Elevator slated for release at the end of fall term and intends for it to be free. Its printing will be preceded by articles posted to the school website. “The audience for the website is for the world...the magazine is for you to show your peers, teachers, parents,” said McDonald.