Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Dec. 16, 2010

Advertising for a moral standard

by Gardi Royce, Page Editor
The Silver Chips ombudsman is the liaison between the paper and the Blair community.

To have a successful newspaper, there needs to be a competent staff, visionary leadership and a dedicated reader base. Just as important, but often overlooked is the business end of newspaper.

Even as a high school newspaper, we need to raise revenue for our publication. While studentsí complaints of boring ads and unappealing coupons may ring true, the fact that we do have ads brings up a much more important issue.

In order to preserve our integrity as a credible and independent newspaper, Silver Chips does not take money from the Blair administration or the county. If the school or county funded us, it would put our journalists and stories in jeopardy by creating possible conflicts of interest.

However, much more likely and detrimental would be that our staff and advisors would be more hesitant to suggest or write stories that negatively reflected the administration for fear of losing crucial funding.

This idea of freedom of press and expression is something that we as journalists take extremely seriously.

For this reason, our publication has been completely privately funded by organizations in the community. For years we have faced problems because the lack of returns on investments is frustrating many of our advertisers.

Unfortunately, the Blair student population does not use the coupons or go to many of the stores that are advertised in each issue. Because of this, we are losing funding from businesses that see no point in advertising in a newspaper where they receive no business in return.

This problem stems from one major source: the inability of our staff to create attractive ads that appeal to the student population.

For our newspaper to continue to be privately funded and have journalists that are free to write any story we deem important, it is up to us as students to use the ads and shop at the stores, ensuring the repeat investments of the businesses.

While it does seem odd to be asking Blazers to go out and shop, it is true that we need to mobilize our student body in order to ensure the paperís continued success.

If students feel the ads are boring or unrelatable, itís important to convey what aspects of the advertisements attract the students. By writing letters to the editor, or contacting a Silver Chips staff member, you can let us know what ads would catch the studentsí attention. However, the responsibility is not only on the Blair students.

As an award-winning high school newspaper, we hold ourselves to the highest standards in every aspect of the publication. Our ads need to be on par with the rest of the newspaper, and while our business staff does their best job to make the ads attractive, we need to make them better.

For students who frequently rush through the paper, the ads need to grab their attention and interest. With your help as informed readers to offer suggestions, we can create ads that both appeal to readers and work for the businesses.

In a time when our society is experiencing unbelievable economic depression and problems, newspapers are dealing with some of the worst times ever. With national publications rapidly going out of business, the structure of print publications are going to have to change soon. While these economic problems are affecting national publications, we are able to see these issues on a much more personal level.

As a newspaper that prides itself on itís moral credibility, Silver Chips is dedicated to remaining an independent publication without the interference or influence administration oversight. However, the only way that we will be able to continue this tradition of integrity is with the pairing of readers input and business staffs ability to reflect Blazer interests.

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  • alumnae3 on January 30, 2011 at 6:06 PM
    If you put in hoover florist, the driving school,jerrys, 711, subway, santuccis, coupons, and tell the blazers about the coupons on inflo flow or thru an email blast, I am sure you will see the couponsbeing used. This the businesses will be happy to buy ads.
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