Adviser Update Adviser Update Winter 2018 - Page 19

19 program disseminated news to our school population. After a professional discussion and inquiry, the editorial team decided to change from producing a newspaper to a news magazine. They agreed that a news magazine format would allow writers to delve deeper into topics that were important to the Manchester Township High School community. Instead of producing informational articles based upon a date, they produced feature articles that told a deeper story, on topics including the heroin epidemic in Ocean County, the Black Lives Matter movement and human-interest profiles about fellow students who were making a positive impact both inside and outside the school. I was in awe at how excited my student journalists were to see their work in the redesigned magazine, aptly titled The Talon 2.0. The switch to a news magazine format with a contemporary and professional design definitely increased reader engagement and improved the reputation of the publication. What was missing from our program, however, was an outlet for breaking news and a way to reach beyond the boundaries of our school building. Coincidentally, as our journalism program expanded into two advanced classes called Advanced Journalism and Career Journalism, the district switched to a new website host and format with blogging-type features. Both administration and our district public relations representative approached me about the possibility of having our student journalists produce online news content in addition to still producing a yearbook and the printed news magazine. Thus, our online news site, The Talon 2.0 Cyber Edition, was born. (While the New Voices of New Jersey legislation re- establishing First Amendment rights of student journalists and protecting journalism teachers was introduced in the New Jersey legislature two years ago, the bill has not made much progress towards becoming law. For now, Hazelwood standards are our norm as our district hosts our website.) I was generously afforded time to update the course descriptions and curriculum for all of the classes under the Journalism umbrella, while incorporating the new online format and linking the most recent New Jersey Learning Standards to each standard/skill within the curriculum. When introducing the new online site, Cyber Edition editor John Simonini wrote, “The Talon 2.0 Cyber Edition has begun a new era in not only Manchester Township High School’s journalism program, but in the Manchester community as a whole. The way society operates in the 21st century, everything is circulated around the internet, and being online has become a necessity for The Talon. With access to posting on Manchester Township School District’s website and then promoting through Twitter, the journalism program is looking forward to the opportunity they have been presented with: becoming a well-known, respected publication of news