By Kayla Kuper and Emma Wynkoop
Ideas running through their minds, fingers tapping at their keyboards, opinions formulating, and numerous stories on the horizon. Novato High School students have revived the school’s newspaper. It has been 14 years since the First Amendment scandal with The Buzz, Novato High School’s former newspaper. Mr. Rosenberg, the new Novato High School Journalism teacher, believes he can successfully bring it back.
The reason for the hiatus stems from a 2001 story written by Andrew Smith on immigration. Many believed that Smith’s op-ed piece was offensive and targeted Mexican immigrants specifically. This piece caused havoc for the school, students, and Smith in particular, and led to the termination of The Buzz. The Buzz was an immensely popular paper for the community of Novato.
"I am not a racist," Smith said in the Marin Independent Journal in 2002. "I'm a journalism student. I wanted to get a reaction out of people and I've done that."
After this event, the journalism class did not return the next year and the paper has ceased to exist since then. Prior to 2002, the paper thrived, with students and teachers waiting in anticipation for it to be delivered to their classes.
“All the students were eager to read the paper,” said Ms. Overson, a teacher at Novato High. “I had to tell students to put it down so they could concentrate on class work.”
“Everyone in this class is determined and driven, which I think is the basis of good journalism,” said Zoe Hyland, a reporter with the Novato Swarm.
With a hefty 14-year absence, the paper is hoping to come back stronger than ever before. Rosenberg has high hopes for the future.
“I feel as if I have the right students to start this type of project,” Rosenberg said. “I couldn’t be more excited with the progress I have seen so far. There are some truly impressive and promising young reporters at this high school.”
The journalism class is already working on their website (www.novatoswarm.com), and have applied for grants to fund the printing costs of the newspapers. While the journalism class progresses toward publishing, the community will likely be waiting in anticipation for a quality periodical.
Anticipating this year with major excitement and optimism, the journalism program hopes to cover sports, arts, culture, and other additional events put on by Novato High School in order to provide news for the Novato High community. The Journalism program strives to have a quick start and gain popularity quickly.
“I am super excited and I expect it to be a great year,” said Nate Hunter, a Journalism student. “I also hope we as a program have a quick start and get some articles out there as soon as possible.”
The Swarm reporters are hoping to continue the program as if it never left. There is going to be a lot of work, but the students appear willing to put in the effort. The students are committed to making a successful paper.