By MATTHEW KRISTOFFERSEN
Snow fell weekly on my middle school campus, but we never got a snow day. This, I reasoned, was a different kind of snow—not the icy, cold, fun-for-the-first-day-but-never-again kind of precipitation that Redlands never gets—but instead, it was something black, white and read all over: the school newspaper. This was a special snow, one that conveniently piled up next to trash cans both inside buildings and out. A snow that never melted, despite the lack of funding the program received through the school district. A snow I wished I was a part of.
However, cleanup was a huge problem for these sixth-period snowstorms. Printed on legal-sized sheets of printer paper, articles had easy-to-spot mistakes that only avid readers like me could find—those who lacked the enthusiasm to read would not even bother. Can anyone blame them? People—like electrons in a circuit—always gravitate towards a path of least resistance; when faced with the easily accessible internet, it is only natural that more will choose to use it.
With Ethic News, there is no snow. Our daily releases of student-written articles have no place in the dumpsters or recycling bins of Southern California. Unlike the newspapers of the last millennium, errors can be fixed in record time and articles can be posted in seconds without concern for printing costs. Because of the internet, school newspapers regularly impact real-world events at a real-time scale, and it’s this advantage that makes Ethic the poster-child of a technological revolution that will change student journalism forever. Our writers have proved and will prove that fully online news is an effective, significant way to educate and inform community members about issues that affect them—printers need not apply.
We are pioneers of this neo-digital age. I could not be prouder.
It’s obvious that Redlands is proud, too: our views have nearly quintupled in the past eight months and that number will only get bigger. Excellent reporting about Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom’s renovation from freelancer Christina Andronescu, the Texas shooting by Alyssa Martin and Redlands East Valley’s new REVWAY initiative from Mia Delmonico made our organization a news source that people outside of the public school sphere rely on as well. Redlands eAcademy editor-in-chief Madison Isaeff even won a national Quill & Scroll award for her infographic that accompanied Martin’s article. Hundreds of hours of manpower have gone into making these articles (and every article, for that matter) sparkle as much as our editors do when they talk about Ethic. Once again, I could not be prouder.
To our readers, I hope you can appreciate our efforts in making this happen. Starting an online, student-run and financially stable (still working on this part) newspaper is hard work, and your support and views mean the world to us.
To students of the Redlands Unified School District, I strongly recommend that you consider joining Ethic. Aside from seeing Lil Uzi Vert in concert, being a part of this organization is the most rewarding thing that I have done in my high school career. While the only thing I have to show for my time seeing Uzi is a dozen pictures of myself sweating in the parking lot of the Angels Stadium, the effort that has gone into making Ethic amazing is immortalized in hundreds of quality examples of student journalism that will remain on the internet forever.
To myself, a year ago, you made the right decision, but please work on talking on the phone before you start calling what seems like every small business in the city. Savor the time you have. It goes so much faster than you think.
To Lil Uzi Vert, call me back. We (I) would love to interview you.