Briarcliff Students Take School Paper Online

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Briarcliff High School seniors Tyler Friedman, left, and Jack Fischer edit the online version of the school's newspaper, the Briarcliff Bulletin. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff High School seniors Jack Fischer and Tyler Friedman are helping keep the Briarcliff Manor community better connected with the schools than ever before.

The co-editors of the Briarcliff High School newspaper, known as the Briarcliff Bulletin, revamped the student-run newspaper and brought it online for the first time in the school’s history. The two needed little assistance in setting up the domain name and now spend countless hours volunteering their free time to edit and update stories and post them to the website in record time.

What used to take weeks or sometimes months to get in the still-printed version of the paper takes less than an hour and gets to more people, Fischer said.

“It’s changed the structure of how things work fundamentally, not only because of the advancement in technology, but also because we had a very limited audience just handing out print copies at the school,” Fischer said, adding that the old system that allowed for six printed newspapers a year felt more like working for a yearbook. “Now we can get it out to students or parents or anyone in the community with an interest in the schools that same day and they can see it, too.”

Friedman said the pair have noticed the readership nearly double online because it’s not just parents and community members who are reading it for the first time.

“A lot of students don’t really want to try to find a print copy or really care to find it, but they’ll go online and check out the stories on the website,” Friedman said. “And for our writers, we can publish the stories as soon as we can and they love that, too.”

The increased workload has been more of an exciting venture rather than a challenge, Fischer said.

“Now we feel like we’re not limited to that physical paper and our stories aren’t old by the time it publishes, so it’s actually made it more exciting,” he said. “It’s something that we love to do and it only takes a bit of communication between Tyler and I to figure out who’s working, so it’s not tough at all.”

Not content with putting up breaking news stories, Fischer and Friedman also update stories on the Briarcliff Bulletin Facebook page and worked with their fellow students to put video and audio on the website as well.

“We weren’t sure about doing videos, but once we tried it we realized it wasn’t that difficult and we got a lot of attention,” Friedman said. “It’s really great to put something up that day and see how much people love it.”

English teacher and the pair’s adviser Samantha Fishman said she was nearly floored when she found out the students had set up the entire website on their own.

“What these guys have done is really move with technology,” Fishman said, adding that several years ago the school used to publish the newspaper in photo form on the school district’s website. “Their goal wasn’t just to take the newspaper and copy it online. They wanted to allow for students to be able to write stories and get them published that same day. Turnaround time is usually very challenging but they’ve done a great job with it.”

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