OUR VIEW: Legacy lives on telling history of SHS

A 75th Anniversary Special

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

  While newspaper class may not appeal to everyone, the skills you gain in this class are extremely valuable. The ability to interact, communicate and reason will always be necessary.

  When an editor starts out, he or she isn’t yet editor material. One must wade through Journalism I where you learn that a journalist must be ethical because over the past three centuries, people have died to preserve the right to tell truth to power. Then a beginner has to learn how to write news stories, feature stories, editorials, headlines and columns. Along the way they pick up skills in copyediting and Associated Press stylerules.

  The next year, the beginners become staffers, writing stories, photographing events, designing layouts and writing captions.

  When they become editors, they are responsible for other staffers, editing their work and taking on more responsibility. It is not an easy task because the staffers often resist the constraints of deadlines. Editors learn that they must magically and painfully make up for others’ faults.

  The student who becomes an editor in chief of the War Whoop often does so after three or four years of moving up the ranks, usually distinguishing him or herself with Interscholastic League Press Conference state awards. The editor in chief is the most knowledgeable person on staff.

  An editor in chief’s job also requires more hours and usually two, three and sometimes four journalism classes a day.

  All of this sounds grueling, and sometimes is certainly is, but the rewards–they are priceless.  Nothing is better than the look on a staffer’s face when that pan of brownies shows up in the editor’s arms. 

  A staffer appreciates words of encouragement on their first story even if it is covered with “red is love” on every line.

  The staff is a family. They laugh, they argue, but at graduation, they hug, pose together and sometimes cry, because they know they DID something special together.

  We know the trend is to look for the electives that are “blow offs” where you can sit looking at your phone for 45 minutes. We do look at our phones in class. We are looking for movie showing times because the site is blocked. We are texting the one guy who knows something about what’s going on in a photo, but has been home sick for a week. We are getting a quote to fill in a missing point in a basketball story before deadline that evening. 

  Most of all, we are trying to tell your story. If you look back at earlier publications throughout the years, many times the newspaper or yearbook did not actually tell anything about the history of Seminole High School. We are writing your history. In 20-40 years, we want your children to know that you DID things that mattered in high school.

  So when we come and ask politely to interview you in class, we are not trying to disrupt your class. We are trying to get it right. We crafting a history for the ages.

  As we sifted through boxes of yellowed newspapers researching for this anniversary issue, we saw all kinds of things we would do differently if we had been on those earlier staffs. History is always evolving and changing and so have the War Whoop staffs over the decades. 

  We just want you to know that we are doing our very best for you. We want you to be proud of a publication that consistently wins in state competition. We are understandably proud of the tradition of excellence this newspaper has carried throughout the years.

  Whether you read our print edition, log in online at warwhooponline.com or follow us on Twitter @WarWhoop8, we appreciate each and every one of you.

  We also encourage you to stop by and ask questions. If you think you would like to join us, we would love to talk to you. Look at the list of names in the staff box to the right of this if you don’t know whom to ask. 

  Hopefully, your grandchildren will be reading the 100th anniversary edition one day, probably through a computer chip inserted in their brains or some such technology.

(Special thanks to all the dedicated journalists living and dead that we took material from over to produce this anniversary issue.)