St. Vincent’s Journalism class launched the new online platform for the historic Onlooker student newspaper today, amidst tremendous excitement by the Onlooker staff as well as the whole St. Vincent community.  A long time coming, the online portal is led by student editors, Anna Griffin and Jacalyn Murphy.  The senior editors who saw the staff of the Onlooker grow to more than 20 students this year are thrilled with the new design and opportunities that an online platform affords.  “Now we’ll be able to cover day to day stories at SV, that we can post right away.  That wasn’t something we could do with only a print edition,” Griffin said.  Griffin and Murphy both point out that the print edition will still exist in conjunction with the online platform but it will be less frequent and more focussed on in-depth feature pieces as opposed to the daily news of the school.

The Journalism class, which is responsible for both the online and print editions of the Onlooker, is being team taught this year by Mr. Gio Benedetti & Ms. Laila McClay.  Both Benedetti & McClay have a passion for teaching students to be both responsible producers of news and subsequently skeptical and critical consumers of mass media.  McClay, with a background as a reporter and producer for NPR and KQED, is excited to tackle the journalism theory with the class.   “I love getting to teach the kids about fairness and balance in a piece, about how to interview people and then take them through the close editing process of real journalism,” McClay said.  Benedetti, himself a graduate of St. Vincent, said “I’m excited to see what the kids want to do and I’m excited that the online platform offers them a platform to do just about anything.  Any interest, any subject, any creative idea, any piece of art/music/video/audio that the kids want to promote, critique or create now has a vehicle to be legitimately published and shared with the school community and the larger internet community.  It is near limitless, and the kids are really embracing the width and breadth of their creative options and it is exciting and inspiring.”

Both the student editors and the paper’s faculty advisors agree that the Onlooker will always be focussed on the stories and issues that most closely affect the students and community of St. Vincent.  In today’s launch of the online version, student reporters covered everything from students rights to privacy on campus and online to SV sports to rising prices in the Mustang Kitchen to music & movie reviews.