Area students recently learned about community journalism and the importance of local newspapers through classroom visits from a Lincoln County News staffer and tours of LCN headquarters.
In October, Maia Zewert, marketing and engagement coordinator at The Lincoln County News, contacted teachers and administrators at schools across Lincoln County to ask if their students would participate in the LCN reader survey. Each teacher who agreed received free copies of the newspaper for all of their students.
A total of 165 students took the reader survey. Of what interests them most in the newspaper, school news, breaking news, and sports coverage were the top three answers. Students said church news, municipal meetings and events, and the TV guide interested them least.
Regarding what they would like to see more of in the LCN, many students want more school and sports coverage, as well as comics, facts and riddles, and positive news.
As far as what the students wish to see less of, responses included political coverage and advertisements, letters to the editor, and tragedies.
“The goal of the project was to engage with the next generation of LCN readers and get their thoughts on what we do and how they feel we could improve,” Zewert said. “We were encouraged by the thoughtful responses we received and hope to regularly offer students the chance to voice their opinions on the newspaper.”
As some teachers were in the midst of units on journalism, Zewert visited classrooms at Boothbay Region High School, Great Salt Bay Community School, and Whitefield Elementary School to speak about the newspaper and being a reporter. Students at all three schools asked insightful questions about day-to-day goings-on at the newspaper, the triumphs and challenges of being a journalist, and favorite career moments and articles.
This month, GSB eighth-graders in Kelly Girard’s language arts classes visited Lincoln County Publishing Co. on Wednesday mornings during the printing of The Lincoln County News. The students spoke with LCN Editor J.W. Oliver and learned about the printing process from LCN Publisher Chris Roberts before watching the newspaper press run.
“I enjoyed having the kids see how the print product is made,” Roberts said. “It’s always fun to share what we do with the community, especially the future of our community.”
Girard’s students are finishing a unit on investigative journalism, for which they are writing an article about something in their community. A selection of these articles will be printed in a future edition of The Lincoln County News.
“We published a collection of articles written by GSB students for the first time last year and were impressed by the talent and the maturity of the writers,” Zewert said. “We can’t wait to see what the students write this year and I personally hope we can offer more students the opportunity to publish their work in the LCN in the future.”
The Lincoln County News welcomes requests for classroom visits or tours of the print shop. To make a request, contact Zewert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-3171.