A tale of two Chips: Silver edition

Nov. 11, 2010, 11:42 a.m. | By Gardi Royce | 13 years, 7 months ago

For Blazers, SCO and Print provide the best of both worlds

The Silver Chips ombudsman is the liaison between the paper and the Blair community.

Ask around Blair, and students will tell you they want more sports and photos in Silver Chips. Many are bored by all the news stories and overload of opinion pieces. They want more comics, more fashion and more entertainment. Each cycle, the Silver Chips writers and editors struggle to strike the balance of creating a serious newspaper while also appealing to a teenage audience.

Despite the continued complaining, we have made sports and entertainment a bigger part of the newspaper, with three pages a cycle dedicated to sports features, previews and updates. We include two of the most important beats a cycle.

We are committed to publishing quality sports coverage, but it is not feasible to add more sports pages to the paper. We simply don't have the space or the money. It costs approximately two thousand dollars to produce each issue of Silver Chips, and our business staff raises all that money on their own. It would be too expensive to print a longer paper, and because of the way newspaper pages are put together, adding one page would actually mean adding four.

To have a stable and attractive newspaper, there must be a balance of graphics, photos and text per page. We work every cycle to make sure the paper is perfect and the pages look aesthetically appealing. Yet if we were to add more photos, the text would have to be cut and we would become more of a magazine than a newspaper.

However, the solution to some of these problems lies right before our eyes, and it's made of millions of 1's and 0's: Silver Chips Online. What started in 1998 as an online version of Silver Chips Print has now become an award-winning online newspaper known for in-depth and insightful reporting.

Yet what students fail to realize is that while SCO and Print have two separate staffs, they should be viewed as one entity, playing off of each other's strengths and weaknesses. The beauty of having both print and online editions is that each serves a different journalistic purpose. If you don't find what you're looking for in print, you can check SCO and vice versa. This expanse of information is something many students might not take advantage of or even pay attention to.

The strengths that SCO offers are its timeliness and ability to cover stories that are "happening now." The structure of having an online publication makes writing news stories and sports beats seamless. They are able to update the Web site 24/7, providing constant and reliable news stories. The restrictions of a five-week publication cycle prevent print editors from punching out quick stories right as they're occurring.

However, print editors are able to spend much more time on developing in-depth and detailed features that delve into subjects that online cannot do. SCO provides local, Blair, college and professional-related sports stories. The sports section has daily updated stories, team beats and even "players of the week" to provide personal interest.

For Silver Chips writers, it's a challenge to balance stories that appeal to Blazers and ones that provide important, relevant information. While print and online publications have restrictions that prevent them from doing certain things, the pairing of both creates a dynamic source of information that has proven each year to be some of the highest quality high school reporting in the country.

In an age of competition and constant information, the combination of these two sources is extremely important. We are lucky to have two staffs of extremely talented writers and artists. It's necessary that Blazers recognize and use these publications to their best advantage, by using them together to create one source of information. With this understanding, we as writers can work together to bridge this gap.

Gardi Royce. Gardi hails from the wine country in California. He is a surfer who enjoys calm nights on a peaceful sunset sailing in a boat. He is a amateur blackjack dealer who spends his free time in dark casinos with old men. His favorite book is … More »

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