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North Hills student newspaper goes online, keeps paper copies

| Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
The Arrowhead, the North Hills High School student newspaper, now is online at nharrowhead.com.
Kelsey Shea | McKnight Journal
North Hills High School senior David Haddad (left), editor of North Hills' student newspaper, The Arrowhead, and Arrowhead staff members Matt Whalen and Tyler Gonabe, also seniors, work in the journalism classroom at the school in Ross Township. The students all are18 and live in Ross. The school newspaper now is available in print and online.

North Hills High School's student newspaper, The Arrowhead, is flying forward with new technology.

The newspaper made its online debut in February, which will give students a better idea of what it's like to work for a modern news organization, said Jenna Kunselman, high school journalism teacher and the paper's adviser.

“It's something we've been trying to get for a long time,” Kunselman, 29, of Sharpsburg said. “I think that it's good for students to experience what it's really like to work in a newsroom.”

Students have published The Arrowhead for more than 60 years. The paper currently is printed four to five times each year, which, Kunselman said, makes the publication more like a magazine than a newspaper.

News, features, opinion, sports, and arts and entertainment stories now are published on the website nharrowhead.com, though the school will continue publishing the print edition.

“The kids really enjoy the printed copy,” said Kunselman, though she noted the focus now will be on the online edition.

About 40 students enrolled in “Journalism 1” and “Journalism 2” classes make up the staff of the paper.

Editor-in-chief David Haddad, a senior, said he is glad to have the opportunity to work online.

“This field is obviously changing,” said Haddad, 18, of Ross Township. “I think it's important if we want any sort of future in journalism that we need to be accustomed to be working online.”

Kelly Furnas, executive director of the Journalism Education Association, based in Manhattan, Kan., said high schools putting their student newspapers online is a nationwide trend.

“I would say that teaching students to understand the different needs and different applications for multiple media platforms is extremely important,” he said.

North Hills students used Instagram and Twitter to promote The Arrowhead before the website existed. Kunselman said the new website will complement the student journalists' social-media activity well.

The students also work with the school's multimedia department to make videos for the paper's site. The morning announcements also are uploaded each day.

“It's really nice because it's a cross curriculum program,” Kunselman said.

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or kshea@tribweb.com.

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