Why it took so long, and whether it was worth the wait.
The OHS’s school newspaper the Oakland Aegis has finally printed an issue! The journalism students distributed the February issue newspapers throughout the school during period 1 on February 29 to keep students informed about their school and community.
After the journalism class’s unsuccessful struggles to find advertising this year, Aegis faculty adviser and journalism teacher Lara Trale was able to obtain a grant that gave enough money to print at least two newspaper issues. The papers were printed through a printing company called Folger Graphics in Hayward, according to Trale. It costs $365 to print 1500 copies in black and white, but fortunately the company made a mistake and printed in color at no cost to the Aegis. Students admired the newspaper’s professional qualities.
“I like how the Aegis has a strong use of vocabulary,” said sophomore Cerena Nguyen. “It actually sounds like a regular article in the Oakland Tribune!”
Compared to other school newspapers, the Oakland Aegis does better than some, but not better than others, according to Trale. Some school newspapers print out issues weekly and some rarely print out any at all. Trale pointed to Berkeley High School, Lowell High School, and Skyline as examples of great student newspapers with an online presence.
Founded in 1886, the Oakland High School Aegis is the oldest high school newspaper in California, according to the newspaper’s website. The Oakland Aegis’s february issue articles ranged from school tardy sweeps to a movie review of Red Tails. Oak Leaves is the literary journal of Oakland High School, according to the Aegis website. Students are able to submit their artwork and poems to Oak Leaves for the newspaper.
Some students were happy to hear that the Aegis finally printed an issue while others simply threw them away.
“Of course I do (read the newspaper)!” Nguyen exclaimed. “Every single time when the Aegis newspaper was released, I would always grab it when others would just throw it away in the recycling bin.”
Some students had really strong opinions and responses towards the article involving school dress code that was more targeted towards girls. The writer’s opinion that was written in the article caused some students to disagree with outrage.
“I thought the dress code article was disrespectful to Oakland High’s female students,” said senior Melissa Quon. “It made it seem like it’s okay for students to judge and label each other based on what we wear. It’s not okay to promote the idea that we should ‘lose respect for’ or be ‘disgusted’ with someone because of the way they dress.”
Another student had a different opinion of the article and supported the article’s message to female students.
“All girls definitely need to read the new Aegis article about girls dressing inappropriately,” said Nguyen. “Hide ‘em muffin tops!”
Nguyen also had another big reaction towards another article about teen pregnancy and thought one of the quotes was just unnecessary.
“If I was a teen mother, I would sort of take [the teen pregnancy article] offensively,” said Nguyen. “Like this one quote someone said, ‘I am shocked at the way teens are just having babies like it is a new trending fashion”; that’s just so way out of line.”
Aside from students who read the newspaper, some were unable to get a copy due to teachers not handing them out.
“I didn’t get (a newspaper),” said junior Randy Phan. “(My teacher) didn’t give it (out).”
According to Trale, there were no sports articles this issue due to lack of interest from journalism students. As a teacher, she has also struggled with students who don’t follow up with their stories.
“We write about what students in the [journalism] class are interested in,” said Trale. “I believe and hope that we’ll have some sports articles in our next issue.”
In the past years, the Oakland Aegis journalism students have been able to receive advertisements to print out issues, according to Trale.
“This year we (have) published the fewest (newspaper issues),” said Trale. “But I’m pleased that we have used our website more than past years. (Also,) we have many students this year and it helps us (get) articles (done) faster.”
In the future, OHS students can look forward to at least one more printed issue this year, according to Lara Trale. Although advertising lead Arnold Thach has been struggling to find paying advertisers in today’s economy, he is awaiting replies from a few leads. Students realize the importance of having a newspaper, but some think that the school should just save their time and money.
“I think it’s compulsory for our school to have newspaper to get updated with the latest news about our schools,” said Nguyen. “But sometimes, I think it’s a waste of money for our school because the students doesn’t appreciate the newspaper. Today (when) I walked out of the Wong building, (I saw) a newspaper page on the ground.”
In relation to professional journalism, past journalism students have won awards from organizations and worked for college newspapers, according to Trale.
“The Aegis is the mythical shield of Athena in Greek mythology,” said Trale. “The Aegis represents the shield and protector of knowledge.”
Students can find Oakland Aegis articles at oaklandaegis.com or get a copy of the February/March issue in Wong 203 (the New Building).
Obtain Oak Leaves information through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.