Tribune, Local Schools Create New Student Weekly

The Chicago Tribune is joining with Chicago Public Schools to introduce a new weekly newspaper and website aimed at–and mostly written by–the city’s high school students, according to a Tribune release. “The newspaper and its companion website will be the only media products in the Chicago market serving teens exclusively,” it claimed.

“We want to redefine what a high school newspaper can be, so we put a lot of thought into how we can improve the media experience for local teens,” Scott Smith, Chicago Tribune president and publisher, said in a statement. “This audience represents our city’s future, and the new weekly student newspaper and Web site will help them be better informed and engaged with their communities.”

The Tribune will distribute 100,000 copies of the new weekly newspaper to all Chicago public high schools beginning in September, the release stated. “The newspaper will feature student-generated and student-targeted editorial content, with student contributors receiving on-the-job journalism training by Tribune editors, who will review and edit all content,” it added. “The newspaper, which has a working title of ‘The Mash,’ also will contain advertisements sold to sponsors by the Tribune advertising department.”

The paper’s Web site will also provide much of that content, “serving as an interactive vehicle that allows students to post stories and photos and interact with one another between editions.”

“This partnership brings great opportunities for our students to get invaluable work experience alongside professional journalists,” said Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. “It also will be a useful tool to improve students’ reading and writing skills, while keeping them connected to current events.”

The Chicago Public Schools is the nation’s third largest school system, with 130 high schools that serve some 100,000 students.