The Clarion: Then and Now

Clare Mulvay '23

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School newspapers have always been a vital means of communication for school communities. They inform students of upcoming events and summarize happenings that have already taken place. Over the years, school media has changed a lot with the internet. I interviewed my mom, Rebecca Mulvay, the former editor of The Clarion, to find out what the newspaper was like when she participated in it. Here’s the questions and responses.

Q: Why did you join the newspaper?

A: I have always enjoyed writing. I liked helping to keep the OLSH community informed of school events.

Q: What was your job?

A: I started as a staff member. I was the editor in the 1990-1991 school year, my senior year.

Q: What did you do as the editor?

A: As the editor, I was in charge of coming up with ideas for the paper, assigning articles, and laying out the newspaper. We had a computer program that we used to map out the paper. We used physical photographs for the paper, and then sent the layout to an actual print shop.

Q: Were there a lot of people participating in the newspaper?

A: There were about 15 regular staff members.

Q: What kinds of articles were written? 

A: We had a regular student of the month feature. Any new staff members would receive a welcome in the paper. Sports events were covered. There was no digital media at that time, so it was a very important communication tool.

Q: Did it cost the students money to buy the newspaper? 

A: No, it didn’t cost the students anything. It was such a vital piece of communication that it didn’t make sense for students to pay money for it.

Q: When did you meet and where?

A: We met after school in one of the computer labs, which were pretty new at the time.

Q:  Did you have a photographer?

A: Various staff members provided the photos. We had to plan out the days we wanted the pictures because we had to get them developed. It was a much longer process than it is today.

Q: What was your favorite part about the newspaper? 

A: Writing the articles was the most fun. I got to meet new staff members and new people that I might not have otherwise had much contact with.

Q: Do you think being in the newspaper had any long term benefits?

A: Absolutely, being able to write effectively is an important skill, no matter what you choose as your career path. I do a lot of technical writing in my job currently, and I use that skill a lot. My coworkers often ask if I can proofread their stuff for them. It also gave me an appreciation for the importance of deadlines and sticking to them. Once, on my 16 birthday, my mom had planned a surprise party for me. I also had newspaper on that day after school, and we had to get the paper to the printer so it could get published on time. Everything was going wrong, and I kept calling my friend from a payphone telling her that I couldn’t make her plans, which were really a cover up for the party. I was late to my own birthday party from trying to stick to a Clarion deadline!

Q: Do you have any guess as to why it’s called the Clarion?

A: I think a “clarion” is another name for a type of trumpet that was used to get people’s attention. The newspaper brought the community’s attention to school events. 

 

The purpose of the school newspaper roughly remains the same. It is still used to spread information about the community. This can be done even easier now with the internet. While it’s a lot less tedious process today, The Clarion continues to do its job well.