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Pine teen helps with online journal that reaches students across nation

Jan Pakler | Pine Creek Journal
Anand Tayal, left, and Shaan Fye in their computer classroom at Shady Side Academy.

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When Shady Side Academy sophomore Shaan Fye isn't busy with debate or sustainable development, he's helping run an online journal with students from across the nation.

The Atlas Business Journal provides commentary and analysis on current events, politics, economics and business rather than original reporting, which Fye of Pine said is more interesting to people his age.

“It's opinion-based,” he said. “We analyze the news. We don't want to just rehash the news.”

They've garnered more than 25,000 likes on Facebook and receive 2,000 to 3,000 hits on the website daily. The website has about 40 contributing authors, but they hope to bring on more to gain different perspectives.

“Political discourse is very valuable for our future so we will know what we're talking about,” Fye said. “We get a lot of intellectual debate going. Arguing constructively is the key, arguing with passion and also being respectful of others' beliefs.”

Fye said they also hope to launch a mobile app for the journal within the next couple weeks.

“It's a good way to bring new people on and expose it to more people,” he said.

The 16-year-old already recruited fellow Shady Side Academy sophomore and debater Anand Tayal, 16, of Indiana Township, to write for Atlas Business Journal last fall.

“I've heard good things from other editors and authors and also from school,” Tayal said.

It all started last year after Fye happened upon “We are 1776,” a political analysis website run by high school students Alex Scheer, of Sacramento, and Seattle twins Sri and Sai Nimmagadda.

He was particularly moved by an article Sri Nimmagadda had written and wanted to get in touch with him, but he couldn't find any contact information anywhere. So in true 21st-century fashion, Fye initiated conversation with Nimmagadda over Twitter.

Fye found out they were looking to expand their website, their interests and start a new website that looked at not only politics, but also economics, business and world culture, and he wanted to be a part of it.

Fye and the West Coast students rebranded themselves as Atlas Business Journal, after Ayn Rand's novel “Atlas Shrugged,” and launched the new website in August 2013.

Since the relaunch, interest in the journal has grown both locally and internationally. Fye said he has gotten five or six students from the Pittsburgh area to write for the publication, and even one student from Ukraine has written for the journal.

“Intellectual discourse is a really important thing,” he said. “In the beginning, it was just politics. We're expanding as we get more people and the difference is noticeable.”

Tayal said having open, respectful discussion on different issues is the key to coming up with sound opinions and arguments, which is why Atlas Business Journal has found such success among high-school and college-age students who are seeking intelligent conversation.

“When they hear the facts, they already start formulating their own opinions on those facts,” Tayal said. “Then they want to hear from other people and look at both sides of the issues and formulate a solid opinion.”

If you're interested in writing for Atlas Business Journal or want to read its latest publications, visit www.atlasbusinessjournal.com.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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