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Mohawk students start online newspaper

Recorder donates  start-up fee

BUCKLAND — It’s “Booster Week” at Mohawk Trail Regional School and you can read all about it in The Mohawk Independent, a student-written, online newspaper that debuted this week.

The idea for an online newspaper came from English teacher William Drake, who teaches journalism and creative writing at Mohawk. Before this, he said, Mohawk had a blog for students and faculty, but the online newspaper has potential for a wider audience.

“Journalism really works when you have an audience,” said Drake, a former freelance writer for community newspapers in Connecticut and in Montague. “It’s not about writing for (a teacher) to read, but for a community that wants to know what you think.”

Drake’s journalism class of 18 juniors and seniors put the first online newspaper together, but Drake hopes other Mohawk students will feel comfortable submitting articles and photos for consideration.

“We’ve been really working on getting it up to speed, especially since this is Booster Week,” he said.

“None of the students read newspapers for the most part, except a few who read a Recorder article or the sports page,” he explained. “Most get news online.”

Drake says today’s students “are immersed in this technology, in a way we weren’t.”

The paper operates through School Newspapers Online, which sets up newspaper websites for about 1,200 high schools nationwide.

The Recorder donated the $600 start-up fee to Mohawk, to pay for the one-time $300 website setup and $300 for the first year’s web maintenance fee.

“We were happy to be able to help Mohawk rebuild their journalism program,” said Recorder Publisher Dennis Skoglund. “The Recorder sponsorship of the Mohawk school newspaper will give the students the opportunity of experiencing journalism and hopefully instill some excitement in the students in the newspaper industry. I understand our industry is changing but still believe in the future of journalism.”

To read The Mohawk Independent, visit http://mohawkindependent.com/

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