Wait, We Have a School Newspaper?


Don'ya Truesdale and Denaijy Dorsey

Did you know about the school newspaper called The Comet? CHS offers an Advanced Journalism class as an elective where students have the chance to exercise their journalist skills and contribute to the school newspaper and school.    

The newspaper started off as a paper newspaper in the 1940s. Later, it changed from being called the “Kay-Hi” to The Comet. The paper ranged from 8-16 pages, and it was published once a month.  

“I knew we had a newspaper and that is online, but I don’t know that much about it. I think it’s a good idea to have a newspaper because we can get out information about events in the school,” English teacher Jennifer Hartman stated. 

The newspaper transitioned from paper to online gradually over a period of about four years from 2009-2013. Newspaper adviser Melanie Coates found a service that allowed the senior students to publish stories online, but also continued to publish the paper copies for students in the school.    

In 2014, the last paper copy newspaper was published, a senior issue, and the newspaper was solely published online at the website www.chscomet.org. With the new online newspaper, now all the journalists within course have the opportunity to post their stories. It also costs less for the publication, $300 instead of $300 an issue.  

Staff and students are glad that CHS offers a program that many BCPS high schools do not. 

“I think that the newspaper brings unity and spirit to the school. I would like to read about local sports, student events, and hear more about other teaching departments,” new JV basketball coach and gym teacher Evan Dougherty exclaimed.  

Freshman Ellie Curtin has other ideas for articles. 

“I want to read about fashion or reviews on different things people are interested in, it’d be really cool,” she mentioned. 

The only problem with the online newspaper is that now no one knows about it. Many of the teachers enjoy the newspaper, but they would prefer that it was in paper form because it would be more known.    

“I have 16 years’ worth of paper copies of the newspaper; now that it’s online I don’t read it as much,” math teacher Deborah Stephens. 

Of course, the teachers and students have different viewpoints about the school newspaper, furthermore some of the students agree that the newspaper just isn’t what’s “hot” anymore, even though it would good the students’ knowledge of the school,  

“I think we should have a newspaper so that students can hear more about the school, but I don’t think anyone talks, or even cares about it because the newspaper is old news,” sophomore Dashawn Dixon. 

The students these days don’t depend on the news channels or the newspapers for their news, it’s all about social media: Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and their peers.  

Sophomore Jaret Avila says, “I’ve heard good things about the newspaper, and I’ve read it from time to time, but I mainly get my news from my peers or social media.”  

To promote the newspaper, from time to time flyers are distributed among the teachers and hung around the building to get the word out. Students like senior Amina Ahmed suggest that putting announcements about the newspaper in the morning announcement would help advertisement, 

“They should be put on the announcements to try to get the word out to freshmen because very little freshmen know about the newspaper,” she recommended. 

Ms. Coates share believes in keeping scholastic journalism alive and allowing students to practice their First Amendment rights.  

“I wanted to lead the newspaper because I majored in journalism in college, and I value the idea of letting the students express their speech and develop those career skills that journalism teaches about responsibility. I have advised for the past 16 years just to keep it alive,” she explained.