WMAHSJ press release

Seven Washington, D.C., high school newspapers have signed on as charter members of The Washington Metropolitan Association of High School Journalists (WMAHSJ).

The WMAHSJ, an entirely student-run association founded by rising Gonzaga College High School senior Michael Ledecky in May 2011, facilitates the exchange of ideas among editors and writers of D.C. high school newspapers.  The association’s website, WMAHSJ.org, pulls content from seven member newspapers.  This school year, the website will also feature joint stories on which writers from the member papers will collaborate.

The association currently encompasses seven publications from eight high schools: The Aquilian (Gonzaga), The Beacon (Wilson), The Horizon (Sidwell Friends), The Independent (St. Albans and National Cathedral School), The Sabre (St. John’s), The Wicket (Visitation) and The Woodley Leaves (Maret).

Ledecky believes that WMAHSJ.org will serve as a valuable source of student-generated news.  “As the year progresses, I think the website will offer a unique perspective on D.C. high schools,” said Ledecky, who wrote for The Washington Post’s sports website ReachForTheWall.com this summer and will serve as editor-in-chief of The Aquilian this year.  “While the association will primarily benefit high school editors and writers, it should also benefit outside observers, such as prospective students and parents.”

Ledecky also hopes that the association will encourage local high school newspapers to establish an independent online presence.  As a junior, he created AquilianOnline.com, the first website for his school’s 70 year-old publication. 

“I do not view WMAHSJ.org as a simple destination but as a network that will link to member websites and boost the online readerships of all member publications,” said Ledecky. 

With the assistance of WMAHSJ, The Independent newspaper, which serves St. Albans and National Cathedral School, has established a news website (stancsindependent.com), and other member publications plan to create new websites or update existing websites.

WMAHSJ.org will not only aggregate content from member publications but will also post original stories.  Students from member newspapers will work together to co-write joint stories.  “The integration of our staffs will allow us to cover more complex stories and further our roles as the voices of D.C. students,” said India Olchefske, editor-in-chief of The Beacon.

WMAHSJ editors and writers plan to meet several times during the school year to discuss their publications and joint stories.  The association will also invite professional journalists to speak at these meetings.  Ledecky hopes to hold the first meeting sometime in the middle of September.

“As high school journalists, we confront similar challenges,” said Eve Barnett, editor-in-chief of The Woodley Leaves, “but now we have an easy place to turn for both advice and motivation.”


For more information, contact:

Michael Ledecky

Editor-in­-Chief, The Aquilian; Founder, WMAHSJ

Email: ledeckym@gonzaga.org

Short URL: http://wmahsj.org/?p=256

Posted by on Aug 18 2011. Filed under Featured Stories, Recent Entries (All Posts), WMAHSJ Meetings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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