After a seven-year hiatus, the Lion’s Roar newspaper, the student publication produced at Cottage Grove High School, is back in action and will be in this week’s edition of the Cottage Grove Sentinel.
Partnering with the Sentinel, the Lion’s Roar which was first printed in 1943 will be publishing on the last Wednesday of each month in what was previously the "School News" tab of the newspaper.
Since the paper’s absence in 2011, students tried to keep it going but without a designated class were unable to keep it afloat. In recent years teachers, including Garrett Bridgens, had been having discussions about getting the paper back into the school.
Last year a group at CGHS met with Sentinel Editor Caitlyn May who agreed to help bring this dream to life.
“I think if teenagers understand how the news is made and why a story is a story and why other things are not stories and what the facts are and what bias is, I think we’re creating good consumers of news,” said May.
Bridgens’ media classes, two classes that total 30 students, then became the newsroom for the Lion’s Roar.
“It just worked to have kids do the photography, learn InDesign and become reporters and so yeah we started working with Caitlyn, she started coming in twice a month and helped get us where we need to be,” said Bridgens.
Before students were at a place of writing and reporting on the news, they first needed to understand what news was.
“It was actually pretty interesting to go in and they didn’t know anything about the news. They had a general understanding of this broad 'media' term but had no idea about the rules and regulations that guide what journalists do. They just kind of knew the rhetoric around society. And every class I would ask what’s going on in the news and the first few months it was like pulling teeth,” said May.
As the months progressed, students became more and more informed as they recognized and questioned stories both locally and nationally--from the hurricane in Puerto Rico to the coaching change at the University of Oregon--that they were reading and viewing. Students then came up with a wide list of stories that they were interested in covering.
After assigning jobs ranging from editor to reporter to photographer, the class was off to create their first paper. With the different positions and jobs assigned to students, Bridgens is excited about what the students can do moving forward.
“From my perspective as an advisor and teacher in here, I am thrilled working with some of these students that are writers or photographers, they’re really talented. And you can see that. And I’m like, you know, you could have a future in this if you wanted to stick with it,” said Bridgens.
The first issue has 11 different stories that discuss topics such as South Lane Mental Health to student athlete profiles.
Senior Jackson Perkins, one of the editors of the paper, has enjoyed the process of making the paper. Perkins is also an editor with the CGHS yearbook but has seen his role change when making the Lion’s Roar.
“So far there’s a lot more choices I have in here. A lot more reign with what I do… But here I’ve kind of found that Bridgens will get asked a question and he’ll be like, ‘Ask your editor’ and I’ll be like ‘That’s me,’” said Perkins. “So it’s kind of been different. I think it’s been fun.”
Perkins is looking forward to the first edition of the paper but is more excited about the progress they can make and what is still to come.
“I’m hoping with the next one it won’t be as haphazardly thrown together on the last day,” said Perkins who was then corrected by Bridgens that it wasn’t ‘haphazardly’ put together.
“Okay, put together in a last-minute manner.”
The Lion's Roar can be read this week beginning on B9. It will appear regularly in the last edition of the month throughout the school year in place of the "School News" pullout section usually found in The Sentinel.