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Turlock Christian embraces new online trend in journalism

POSTED November 10, 2009 9:03 p.m.
Students in Lynne Thompson’s journalism class at Turlock Christian High School recently took a step into the current media trend, converting their paper and ink TCS Tribune into a news Web site.
“It is cost effective and it gives the students the opportunity to keep the newspaper up to date,” Thompson said.
Their first paper this school year hit the online world on Oct. 28 getting about 1,211 hits within two weeks, she said. Some of their first articles were about the movie “Twilight,” homecoming and health care reform.
Most students and staff were weary of the online switch at first, but they grew accustom to the Web views of the new online version of the Tribune, said Thompson.    
“I didn’t think people would read it online because they are used to having it in their hands,” said Jina Daniel, editor of the Turlock Christian Tribune. “But we have received good responses.”
Co-editor Angie Martin said she thinks the online switch will lead to more people reading articles than they used to read with the print edition. She said she remembers when she would get the print edition and only focus on the pictures. With everything at the fingertips of the online user, Martin said she believes more people will actually read the articles.
The eight students in Thompson’s class have learned to work on deadline with the online paper coming out about every two months, five times a school year, with each student writing two articles.
Daniel is working on articles for the Dec. 18 issue about teen dating and spotlighting new movies and music.
The Tribune focuses on articles about pop culture, world news, Turlock Christian sports, random facts, devotionals, Turlock Christian news, and spotlighting new teachers and a student every edition, Daniel said.
Along with the 16 articles for each online edition, the students work on a video to “kick off each issue,” Thompson said. The video they made for their Oct. 28th issue was about 007 finding the missing Tribune.
While embracing the online version of their newspaper, they are taking full advantage of blogs, videos, and polls on their Web site for more community interaction.
“On the Web, there are so many more avenues opened up,” said Tuck Boswell, Turlock Christian Junior High principal. “They can watch videos online when they couldn’t do that in print.”
With their main focus being “all about the kids,” the online version of the newspaper provides more opportunity for the students to learn.
The online version lets a larger audience view the students work involving community members and parents, along with providing the students the resources they need to be active in the current trend of journalism, said Kyle Fast, Turlock Christian High School principal.
“It is real life learning to give the students a true feel of a real job in journalism,” Fast said.  
To visit their newspaper online go to http://www.TCSTribune.com.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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