At Oswego High School, the student newspaper moved into a new era with the start of the spring semester. Our news publication, Panther's Paw, went totally digital.
We're not the first high school to embrace a web-only platform - a recent trip to the Journalism Education Association's national convention in Washington, DC, proved that we're behind most other publications' digital progress. Even though I understand the changing face of journalism, as the editor-in-chief of Panther's Paw, I'm not particularly enthused about our transition.
Switching to an online-only publication eliminated the aspects of news that I love most. Gone are the hectic deadlines and busy distribution days. No longer do I feel the satisfaction of turning a page to the next story or seeing my byline printed in ink beneath an awesome headline. These are the simple joys that websites just can't offer.
Despite my ambivalence toward the switch, I do believe that an online publication better serves our mission to distribute timely news. Having immediate access to the Internet allows reporters to frequently update material, creating relevant news for our readers.
On the other hand, constantly updating articles isn't always a good thing because it leaves room for factual errors. While modern journalists are worried about having the most up-to-date information, they might not take the time to properly fact-check in hopes of beating other news outlets. And don't forget that this new journalism culture means that reporters are always on-call to get stories posted online.
I'm happy to say that Oswego isn't strictly digital because we still print a magazine. Although it's disheartening to eliminate our printed newspaper, I'm proud to hold a significant role in the transition, and I hope to make it a positive experience for my staff and readers.
Africa Baker is a senior at Oswego High School and a correspondent for The Mash