A Griffin Gazette recap

A look back at Griffin Gazette’s second semester of its first year


Alicia Tan

A group photo of the Griffin Gazette class of 2022-2023.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — The Griffin Gazette’s first year is coming to an end, and this second semester has surely been a wild ride. From hilarious conversations in class to special outings, the journalism class of Los Alamitos High School reflects back on the second half of the school year.

Griffin Report
“The Griffin Report,” a subsidiary production of the Griffin Gazette, was first launched on Spotify in February 2023. (Katie Arnoult)

After returning from winter break, the Griffin Gazette launched right back into work, cranking out articles ranging from the topics of academic rigor to a “Romeo and Juliet” movie lawsuit. Additionally, the staff began developing its very own podcast called “The Griffin Report.” Its first episode, titled “Impact of other culture’s music in the U.S.,” was released on Feb. 14. While producing each episode took as many as multiple weeks, the class released new and interesting conversations for as long as it could until the end of the school year finally came around the corner.

“I think [our podcast] has lots of potential,” said senior Jonas Corliss. “Starting it was hectic, but I think that it has only gotten better and that it is sure to grow in the coming years.”

In late February and early March, the Griffin Gazette braced itself for the upcoming “Every 15 Minutes” event, a program that teaches students the dangers of drunk driving. This was the ultimate quick coverage for the journalism class, and staff writers Isabella Gasper, Bella Kim, Sydney Forsyte, and Alicia Tan were able to execute three consecutive articles perfectly.

“I felt like [Bella and I] were taking part in documenting something that hasn’t happened for years, and it was a bigger article, which was fun for me,” Gasper said.

Not only has the Griffin Gazette churned out more articles than before, but they have also learned and gained experience along the way. Editors made sure that every staff member’s Associated Press style of writing was correct, and gave regular reminders to ensure that quality journalism work was being published. Additionally, the class has improved on photo quality and switched to using non-copyrighted images in their articles.

I think we’ve become a lot more organized with our whiteboard and daily check-in. I’ve also noticed a huge improvement in our articles with regards to picture quality and AP style. A lot of writers have branched out to cover topics outside of their usual beats too.

— Bella Kim, editor

With more articles published, the Griffin Gazette staff has gained experience in dealing with the drawbacks of journalism. When certain articles were discovered on the site by users not affiliated with Los Al, the Griffin Gazette received hateful emails and saw rude comments submitted to the website. After long class discussions, staff writers added to the “About” page on the Griffin Gazette website, stating that hate speech will not be tolerated or published. Additionally, two students took a stand during a Los Alamitos Unified School District board meeting, defending an article’s credibility and the author’s rights as a student journalist.

Through the work, the class has made many memories. The Griffin Gazette will always remember the hilarious and interesting conversations that took place during fifth period every day. The class wandered from topic to topic, discussing deep matters like social media usage to funny subjects like who in the class would survive a zombie apocalypse.

“I’ve had a really good time this year during all of our conversations, but I think my favorite was when we talked about movies or books liked because everyone was so passionate and excited,” said sophomore Sydney Forsyte.

Whether it was showing off the journalism class at a middle school or going out one weekend to watch a movie, the Griffin Gazette team could always be spotted in the wild. Staff members went to Oak and McAuliffe Middle Schools’ eighth grade elective fair to promote the class to incoming freshmen. In early March, after being invited to a visual and performing arts fair at Cypress College, students attended a workshop led by the school’s journalism professor. While the event was not exactly what everyone had expected it to be, it was a great opportunity to spend time with friends outside of the classroom. Additionally, some Griffin Gazette members decided to meet up on Memorial Day weekend to see the new “The Little Mermaid” film in theaters after one staff writer published an article about it back in October.

On Friday, May 26, the Griffin Gazette held its end-of-year potluck party, officially titled the “Banquet O’ Yum.” Students brought dishes from home, and the class had a party during lunch and fifth period. After eating, Mrs. Franzen rewarded special graduation cords to the seniors and gave personalized certificates to every student. Then, the seniors said a few words of advice to the underclassmen, which then turned into an emotional conversation of reflection and gratitude for the entire class.

“My most memorable event with Journalism would be the Banquet O’Yum event,” said senior Adalie Landa, one of the Editors-In-Cheif. “The food was amazing, and our conversations will always be cherished. Towards the end of the banquet, classmates gave small recaps and, wow, was it hard to hold in tears. I’m forever grateful to have spent so much time with this class.”

With the first year of the newly-revived Griffin Gazette coming to a close, there are hopes for the journalism program at Los Al to grow even further. But, the Griffin Gazette as we know it would not have been possible without those who helped to build it into what it has become today. The Griffin Gazette would like to thank Mrs. Franzen for her kindness, generosity, and guidance through the ups and downs of building this program. To the Editors-In-Chief Sofia Youngs and Adalie Landa, for their leadership and love of journalism. Additionally, thank you to all of our editors who worked day and night to get our articles published.

Finally, a special shout-out to our graduating seniors of 2023–the Griffin Gazette will never be the same without you.