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Autumn Phillips: Newspaper looking for teen writers, photographers

Autumn Phillips " From the Editor

I knew I was cool when I was a teenager.

I knew all the latest music and cool trends, and when I talked to adults whose world had collapsed to the size of their commute from work to home, I swore that I would never be the kind of adult who was out of the loop.

Well, guess what happened.

I still know more bands than most, but when I hear that a band doesn’t come on stage until 12:30 a.m., I wonder if I can make it. (I hate that I just admitted that.)

The older you get the harder it is to keep exploring ” to always be searching out new things when you already know what you like and to keep an open mind when you’ve settled on a pile of opinions.

That’s why, the older you get, the more important it is to purposely expose yourself to new people and new ideas.

That said, I think it’s time we brought a perspective into this newspaper that doesn’t get heard very often ” local teenagers.

We quote a lot of adults talking about teenagers, but their actual voices are curiously silent.

I want that to change. So, the Sky-Hi Daily News is looking for high school-age writers and photographers who want to share their views about music, politics, sports and life in Grand County.

We’ll set aside a section of the paper once a month to publish their work.

In my years as a journalist, I have started two teen-centered projects.

In Steamboat Springs, we called it “Teen Style” and it ran once a month in the Sunday paper.

We held regular staff meetings and the girls (for some reason all the writers were girls) used the section as a chance to comment on everything from dropping out of school to the dos and don’ts of fashion on the mountain.

The staff also organized an annual Battle of the Bands for local teen talent and the guys in the high school shop class made us a trophy that was worth all the hours of practicing Led Zeppelin covers in the parents’ garage.

In Payson, Ariz., the teens were more interested in starting something online and we created a MySpace page that was only open to “friends” who went to high school in that town.

In both places, getting the local teens to write and submit photography was one of the most rewarding things I did with my time at those papers.

Teens interact with a community in a much different way than the average reader of this newspaper. And I think you’ll find it fascinating to look at the county through their eyes.

We’ll be having our first meetings of the teen staff in Granby at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Sky-Hi Daily News office and in Kremmling at Big Shooters at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1.

If you are in high school in Grand County or know someone who is who would like to get involved in this project, call me at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600 or e-mail aphillips@grandcountynews.com.


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