“What is The Columbian?”
The Columbian is the student-run school newspaper for Columbia High School. Students create the content, design, photography, and art for each and every issue. Mr. Lombardo, an ELA teacher, serves as the advisor.
“Is The Columbian still a newspaper or is it a website?”
This question is a little tricky. Even before the pandemic, the Columbian staff was exploring a move towards online publication. Going to virtual – and then hybrid – instruction accelerated the process, however, and currently the Columbian website is our only form of publication. Current staff though is eager to bring back “hard copy” newspapers, so that has become a primary goal.
“I heard The Columbian is now a CHS Club. What does that mean?”
For decades, The Columbian was run as an offshoot from CHS academic classes, mostly Journalism and Computer Design. Juniors who took these classes would then be eligible for editor positions with the newspaper their senior year.
Beginning in 2021, the significant change to a “club model” took place. This was done with the intent of increasing access and equity in regards to who can contribute, and in what roles, to The Columbian. Our current staff is in the process of revising the numerous newspaper protocols and procedures that are impacted by this change.
“Is there a structure to the new club yet? How does it work?”
As always, The Columbian continues to be a student run organization. The new framework is fashioned after a model that created an outstanding product for a long time.
The Columbian is headed by Editors-in-chief for both content and design. Traditionally seniors, these students have demonstrated not only superb writing skills, but also the leadership and knowledge of journalism required to helm a serious publication.
Additionally, The Columbian relies on Department Editors to supervise content selection as well as provide guidance and assistance to their writers. These positions, too, have historically been held by seniors and require both excellence in writing as well as dependability, responsibility, and dedication.
In our new model, other students interested in writing for the paper are considered Staff Writers and will be assigned to different departments throughout the course of the year. Our goal – and our task – will be to train these students in basic journalistic procedures/standards and help them hone their overall writing skills.
We also have an entire Design Department. Students who want to work solely on layout, artwork or other design elements can do so. Students are, of course, free to participate in both content and design.
“Do I have to belong to the club to write an article and have it published?”
If you are a student at CHS, you can write for The Columbian. As such, we will continue to accept pieces from “guest contributors” as we always have. However, submitting something for publication is different from having it chosen for publication. The Columbian has been an award-winning publication for a long time, and that is a credit to the quality of its staff and the rigor of its process. Editors at both the department and the executive level decide on what is chosen for publication and supervise the editing/revision of those pieces. Not everything that is written or submitted is guaranteed publication.
If you don’t belong to the Club and you have a story or article idea, reach out to an editor or Mr. Lombardo.
“So can I join the Club or is it too late?”
Absolutely, you can join! The club is up and running so there is a lot happening at all times, but students can join in the fun – and the work – whenever they wish by contacting any of the editors or Mr. Lombardo.