100 years of NT News: The good, the bad, and the future

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Heading into a new year or a new decade naturally prompts reflection. After a century of student journalism, the New Trier News has a substantial amount of work we can look back on. Thousands of high- quality news, feature, opinion, and sports pieces have been published in this time.

However, as with any student paper, there have been thousands of mistakes as well.

Thus far into the school year, the NT News has printed many exciting and well-reported stories that have sparked conversation within the school community. We’ve also made some slip-ups that deserve reflection and conversation.

On Dec. 6, a news piece about student reactions to the advisery N-word presentation was published on our front page. Unfortunately the headline did not quite match the content of the piece.

The news article had been titled “For students, N-word presentation falls short.” However, a more accurate description would have been “Students reflect on N-word presentation” or even “Students think presentation was a good first step.”

People that did not read the article in full would have been left with the impression that the presentation received widespread criticism, as was not the case (nor was it portrayed to be that way in the article).

As a paper, it is our goal to accurately report what is going on in our community. We made a mistake in sticking a mismatched headline onto a sensitive article. However, as students, it was an opportunity for us to learn to look at those small details more critically to be conscious of any bias or distortion of the truth.

The New Trier News has been a student run paper for the last 100 years. In the past century, a lot of small and harmless mistakes have been made, whether it be printing columns upside down; spelling sophomores as “spohomores.”

But some, like the recent pasting of an ill-advised headline above an article, can be more impactful.

The reality is that students are going to make mistakes and will for the next hundred years. It’s all part of the process of getting better and growing.

We recognize that some of our mistakes can have an impact on the community, especially when they’re more than simply an awkward typo.

In the era of fake news and the 24 hour news cycle, it is even more important to be dedicated to factual reporting, even for a source as small as a weekly high school paper. Spin and misleading phrasing can manipulate people into defending lies and deriding facts.

Going into a new year, a new decade, and a new century of the New Trier News, we are committed to creating the highest quality papers that we can. The paper will never be flawless, but we are dedicated to making each newspaper we put out better than the last.

The next century for the NT News is relatively unclear. It could become an exclusively online publication, a bimonthly paper, or something else entirely. However, while we may continue to make mistakes, we are also going to continue to strive to be better.