Vincent students stay on deadline with online paper

Journalism students at Vincent Middle/High School are getting a taste of the real world.

The school newspaper, The Jacket Journal, is going exclusively online after two years as a printed product.

Journalism teacher Kim Benefield said printing the paper costs $100 an issue, and the class just doesn’t have the money for it. However, that hasn’t stopped students from getting involved.

Senior Megan Overton said she’s possibly interested in journalism as a future career choice, but plans to get involved with online journalism since newspapers are hurting. She enjoys journalism because it’s a way to get a message to the masses.

“I like the fact it’s not just there for entertainment. It’s more factual,” she said. “It teaches time management, definitely. And how to be personable, have tact and ask questions the right way.”

Benefield said she intends the newspaper to be a way to reach out to the community while teaching the kids basic business survival skills. Grades are based on meeting story deadlines. Students are allowed to use class time to speak to sources, such as school employees.

“It’s more world experience. It’s more of a business-oriented class,” Benefield said. “(It’s about) discipline and learning how to meet deadlines.”

When the newspaper was printed, the class was only able to produce six a year, Benefield said. Now that it’s online, students hope to produce a new issue every month.

Overton said students have no end to story ideas.

“It’s stuff we hear people complaining about, or a story on tattoos because it seems like almost everyone has a tattoo, or on different college stuff,” she said.

Students also plan to cover community issues, especially White Rock Quarries’ proposed limestone quarry.

“That’ll be a big issue,” Overton said.

The Jacket Journal can be found online at the school Web site, Shelbyed.k12.al.us/schools/vmhs/index.htm.