The Hook

By Joyce Huang

Upon entering Mr. Bryan Christopher's Journalism II class at the beginning of this semester, I felt like I had stumbled across a time capsule. There were piles upon piles of newspapers blanketing the countertops, and the walls were plastered with laminated copies of covers of old newspaper issues, dating back to the 1990s. The classroom felt like a sacred space, a space that had somehow gone untouched by our increasingly digital society. I was surprised to learn that it is the students who ask to maintain their tradition of producing print issues of their school newspaper, "The Pirate's Hook," year after year.

As I spent more time with the dedicated students behind Riverside High School's successful newspaper, I was even more surprised to learn about the boundless creativity that they seemed to possess. The class is full of students who each have their own unique interests and skillsets, but all share a passion for telling stories. Even though they cherished the feeling of seeing their weeks of hard work come to life in the form of a physical newspaper, they wanted to think bigger, to find new ways to tell the stories of Riverside High School. And they did not disappoint. Whether it be branching out to Instagram and Twitter, initiating the creation of "The Weekly Hook," their new broadcast segment, and even starting a Pirate's Hook podcast, these incredible students are redefining the boundaries of a high school newspaper.

Through this documentary project, I have had the privilege of getting to know Mr. Christopher and a few students like Javier and Elijah. I'd like to thank Mr. C for welcoming me into their class, and his students for sharing their stories and their work with me. Seeing all the amazing things you have all been able to achieve in one semester, I know "The Pirate's Hook," and all of you, will continue to accomplish incredible things!