By: Ben Brown
You’ve probably heard about The Jenks Tribune bringing a city newspaper back to Jenks, but did you know that the highschoolers at the Trojan Torch work directly with the Tribune. The Tribune meets with the Torch staff once a week and talks stories, shadowing opportunities, and hands on journalism experiences. There are also students that are interning at the Tribune during their sixth hour. The students interning work much closer with the Tribune than the rest of the Torch staff, helping them out at their office multiple times a week, filling in for the Tribune staff, and going out on shadowing opportunities.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot more in the past week than I have in the past five years,” says senior Drew Bethel, Torch writer and Tribune intern. “Before I started interning at the paper I didn’t really know what was happening in Jenks, but now I feel like I’ve gotten a grip on what’s happening. It’s more than just a high school town.”
They do much more of the day to day aspects of running a newspaper. For example, Bethel spends her time taking pictures, proofreading articles, and her favorite, transcribing the police reports of the week.
“I feel like I know all the tea in Jenks,” she says. “Like I know to lock my car because there’s been a string of autoburgleries.”
The work is a lot different between the Tribune and the Torch, considering the Tribune publishes weekly while the Torch publishes monthly. Working at the Tribune, there’s a feeling of being on your toes.
“I’ve done journalism before but kind of in controlled settings,” says Bethel. “This is more like ‘You don’t really know what’s gonna happen’ it’s always surprising.”
The partnership with Torch was a big part of the Tribune’s goals of getting involved with the community. Kyle Salomon, Owner of the Tribune, and Hayden Tucker, Director of Media, looked back on their introductions to journalism and thought about experiences they wished they’d had. They chose to work directly with Torch and give back by passing on their knowledge.
“First and foremost, our purpose is to give them an experience that’s going to benefit the students and their careers, whether they choose journalism or not,” says Salomon. “I think the experience they can gain through working with us will help them in whatever field they go into.”
The Tribune’s partnership with the Torch is one that goes both ways. The Tribune is able to gain the support of the Torch staff, and the Torch is able to gain valuable field and journalism experience, as well as the ability to get more in touch with their community.
“You get so much knowledge, and not just about journalism, but about the community,” Bethel says. “Like, I didn’t know we had a gardening club.”
The Tribune hopes to bring the community together, and to show the Torch staff how to do the same.
“It’s a small town feel, but they’re making big changes,” says Bethel.