Written by: Clara Stadler, FHS Senior and HSE Schools Communitions Intern
At Fishers High School, a group of less than 20 students gather every other day. Together, they work on the Tiger Times student newspaper. With new issues releasing each month, the students hussle to beat deadlines.
The Editor in Chief, junior Malak Samara, has been a part of staff since her freshman year. Each student's motivations for joining staff are different. The newspaper appeals to students who like to research, write, design, or take photos. Samara’s initial attraction to the newspaper was her love to write.
"[Since I was little] I would write so many different stories, and even applied for story competitions,” Samara explained. “When I found out there was a Newspaper class for a fine arts credit, I knew I had to join and I’ve loved it ever since.”
At the beginning of a new issue the staff brainstorms story ideas together. Once topics are decided, the reporters work continuously to find an angle, to find interviewees, to capture photos and to build their stories. Working together allows the staff to bond quickly. Samara noted the connection between the staff and herself.
"The staff feels like a family,” Samara said. “I am able to express myself creatively through the newspaper while also being surrounded by people that value me as a writer and person. It improves my mental state of mind and makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself.”
Every publication has a leader board called ‘editors’. These are the people, in this case students, who review stories, edit designs, give suggestions, and keep the staff on the right path. To become an editor, one must go through a simple application and interview process. The Tiger Times consists of: an Editor in Chief, an Online Editor, a Photo Editor, a Social Media Director, and section editors.
"I think the process of me becoming EIC started all the way back in freshman year. I was determined, even as a freshman that just started, to be promoted to one of the editorial board roles. During my second year, I put most of my time and effort into the newspaper,” Samara said. “I think my ‘above-and-beyond’ efforts is what pulled me through to become Editor in Chief. That and my sheer passion for the class and journalism.”
As Samara leads the class, she directs the staff members through their individual struggles.With the tight bond the staff has, she ensures they can fall on one another and herself. She encourages students to take their own path and take risks within their work.
"Write the unique stories that never get told, get out of your comfort zone,” Samara said. “Those always tend to be the best and most interesting stories and you’ll feel so good solely based on the fact that you were the reason that someone who’s never been heard had their story told and shared to the world.”