By Anna Brecher, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Fall 2016. The launching of The Beak online. Ghsbeak.com.
Ever since I was a freshman the goal of the editorial staff was to publish an online website. In the “technology age,” the term coined to define our Snapchat-taking, Instagram-posting, and Facebook-messaging generation, it has seemed increasingly important to create an online presence for The Beak.
Print newspapers, even for national publications, are losing customers yearly. Why subscribe for paper newspapers, when it is often found soggy and soaking wet in the bushes at the end of your driveway? Doesn’t it seem easier to just read the news on your smartphone, all the same information found at your fingertips? CNN push notifications and the NY Times app are convenient for Metro North commuters, who can easily read the latest news on the train without inadvertently shoving their elbow into their neighbor’s face when opening the doubly-spread columned print issue.
The Beak needed to remain current. It has been a permanent fixture in Greenwich High School for over 50 years, providing the inside scoop to students regarding the school’s vaping policies or the reason for graduation gown color controversies. The yearly mission of The Beak is to improve readership and encourage more people to get excited about our newspaper.
The solution? Create a lasting digital website. Over the past few years, several websites have been published on the Internet but have had no lasting presence due to unpaid bills, loss of interest, or simply not enough time to maintain the site.
That is why it has become the mission of the 2016-2017 Beak staff to leave a lasting legacy at Greenwich High School: a permanent website. In addition to the six times we plan to publish in print this year, there will be a reliable and constantly updated website.
At this point, you may be asking yourself: How is THIS website different than the other website attempts? For starters, we have created the role of production editor to help maintain the website, assisting with uploading articles, formatting the tabs and pages, editing the overall layout and overseeing the web design. In addition, the section editors each have the responsibility of writing articles regularly for the online website.
Unlike the print articles, which are required to be a minimum of 500 words, the articles for the website are shorter and can be more casual. Ranging from Buzzfeed-style quizzes or opinion polls, the website provides the writer with even more flexibility on subject area, and artistic license.
Don’t get me wrong, the print edition of The Beak will still have a valued and publicized presence in our school. Nothing can replace the smell of the crisp pages of a freshly printed newspaper, the still-wet black ink smudging on your fingertips as you leaf through the latest edition. The online Beak is our latest innovation, the most exciting addition to the newspaper since we began printing in color! (However, an online newspaper seems like a slightly bigger deal!)
So, have I convinced you that The Beak website is a big step in the modernization of the school? That the technology age is a legitimate time period that we are a part of, evident by the latest change to the “traditional” newspapers which used to solely be published in print? Or, that just writing for the newspaper, in whatever format, is really cool? If so, feel free to join our mass group on Facebook to learn about our next meeting time: GHS Beak Mass Group 2016-2017. In the meantime, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns. And don’t forget to check us out online!