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(From left) Jessica Lee, Parker Donaldson, Chris Zimmerman working in The Review room.
From 1:50-2:40 in the afternoon—and occasionally all day on Saturdays or well past 8 p.m. on weeknights—students brainstorm articles, fix comma errors and design pages for the St. John’s School newspaper, The Review.
Between 20 staff writers, 19 editors and two advisors, The Review room is usually loud and frenzied. The two Editors-in-Chief and many other members of the staff work together to publish monthly issues and regularly update the web version, The Review Online. On distribution days, the entire staff wears matching T-shirts and passes out copies of the newspaper throughout the school.
Last year, The Review won a Silver Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, one of the premier organizations that recognizes high school and college journalism. This December, The Review was again nominated for a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown, the results of which will be announced in March. Articles in The Review have also been recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association.
Each year, several editors and staffers take two days off school to attend the National High School Journalism Convention, sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association. The convention has been held in Boston and Washington, D.C. in the past (next year, it will be in Orlando!), and attendees spend hours listening to lectures with titles like “Confessions of a Fontaholic” and “Taking the Dread out of Deadlines.”
Editors typically also attend a summer workshop, which has been held at Columbia University and Indiana University in the past. They plan a workshop the week before school starts to introduce new staff members to journalistic writing and prepare for the first issue of the school year. Contests, conferences and workshop provide writers, photographers, business staff members and editors opportunities to learn new techniques related to journalism and advance their own skills—many of which are useful on and off the newspaper, in history class or on a sports team.
The countless hours students dedicate to The Review without receiving academic credit are testament to the dedication and camaraderie of this group.