By Ava Harris (Happenstance Art Editor)
As Nease high school expands and changes throughout the years, so does its newspaper. The Vertical has existed since 1984. There have been a lot of ups and downs, and plenty of changes that have been made. Staff members have come and gone, leaving their own impact on The Vertical. This year, there are specific changes that have impacted new and old staff in huge ways, and these changes might even impact future staff members. The biggest changes to know: technological advancements, and the growth of students in our staff. But why are these changes important? Because they affect the whole staff and the most important thing, the end product of The Vertical.
Since The Vertical started in the 80’s, writing, printing, and completing tasks by deadlines was not as easy as it is now. But thanks to computers, the internet, and phones, we can write and produce at a much faster pace than we ever could before. Additionally, communication between staff members is extremely important, so having multiple ways to contact them such as calling, texting, and messaging on social media is also extremely helpful. This technology expansion is also needed for keeping stories and other submissions organized in files online, which creates less physical clutter on our desks and in our bags. Having the internet means that The Vertical was able to create a website. It has all the current news for Nease and important topics such as worldwide news. Social media is also an amazing creation that allows people to communicate and share ideas in many ways, and creating accounts for The Vertical on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook allows us to reach more people and to keep them updated on current events right when they happen.
The sudden expansion of our staff doesn’t come as a huge surprise to most since Nease is constantly gaining new students, but it does change how last year’s staff is used to working, which calls for some slight changes. This year has huge staff, considering that last year’s staff consisted of 14-15 people and this year’s staff is 30+. But having a larger staff has its benefits, such as allowing for the production of more stories. Another benefit is that more people results in more minds working together to come up with creative ideas. Having so many different people with different thoughts and opinions leaves so much space for the best topics and stories. This can bring more attention to The Vertical as the stories become more interesting and memorable because when multiple creative minds come together and brainstorm ideas, beautiful things can come of it.
Some smaller changes to also know about The Vertical are the look and feel of the actual paper. Today we don’t usually see as much of the stereotypical black and white print newspapers that you would picture your parent reading. That’s what past staff have produced, and that’s what the people read and knew The Vertical to be. With The Vertical today, our paper has a fun, modern feel with a thicker paper, that we think is mature enough to keep older generations interested, but sleek enough so to not bore students. We have color in our pictures now, which makes the paper more appealing and eye-catching.
I asked one of our own staff, Maria, the Editor-in-Chief of The Vertical, about The Vertical and her opinions on how it has changed. Maria commented, “The means of which teenagers communicate today are more digital. We communicate more through social media and The Vertical’s website. It has changed a lot because fewer high schoolers are willing to pick up a newspaper and actually read it. I think that these are great changes because we don’t have to raise as many funds as past years because nhsvertical.com is a more effective way to communicate the news to a wider range of people.” Maria also said that she believed that, “More students are interested in having not only their writing but layout skills published and shown off to their peers,” which resulted in the increase of students on staff this year.
It’s important to embrace change because nothing should stay the same forever. Without change, we wouldn’t have all the advantages we have today.We are so much more comfortable and confident in what we are producing with the new technology and ways of communicating; we can get our tasks done in a timely manner while making our stories with focus and passion.