The amazing revival of the Griffin Gazette

After a two year hiatus, the Griffin Gazette returns back and better than ever

One of many group photos taken of our writers this year.

Adalie Landa

One of many group photos taken of our writers this year.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Dec. 22, 2022 will mark the first full semester of the relaunch of Los Alamitos High School’s school newspaper, the Griffin Gazette. After a campaign to restart the journalism program during the spring semester of the 2021-2022 school year, the Griffin Gazette has transformed itself from dormancy to a leading school newspaper with a team of talented, active journalists.

The early days

The first days of the relaunched journalism program were marked with surrealism. It was remarkable to see a group of students taking the initiative in restarting a class they were passionate about into reality. Led by Modern Literature, Mythology, and Thanatology teacher, Mrs. Lori Franzen, the Griffin Gazette would pick up from where it left off two years ago. Incoming students were taught how to correctly use AP style, roles for newspaper editors were assigned, and even the photographical skills of pupils were refined. Thanks to a generous $1,000 stipend from ASB, the Griffin Gazette was able to renovate the newspaper’s website through the SNO network. This money allotted to the Griffin Gazette would also be used to pay for tools on SNO.

Once students were familiarized with the ways of journalism and the Griffin Gazette website was renovated, the first stories began to trickle in. Myriads of topics were addressed from classes and school events to expressive editorials about pressing issues facing the student body. Through promotion on the weekly school newsletter, the first publishing week of the Griffin Gazette was a success with over 2,700 readers checking the website.

The journalists moving the Griffin Gazette forward

Each of the Griffin Gazette’s 17 journalists help move the program forward. With strength and determination, each journalist strives to create meaningful work that connects with their peers. However, despite the serious nature of ensuring the Los Al student body is informed on the events shaping their world, the Griffin Gazette is a source of joy for many of its writers. Many, including staff writers Kate Shucmacher and Sydney Forsyte attribute a sense of comradery between the writers at the school newspaper.

Schumacher of the 9th grade says, “I’m loving the ability to work together and write what I am interested in.”

By the same token, Forsyte says, “I have loved how our writing is a collaborative process. You really get to help your fellow writers.”

Whilst writing together with comradery, the journalists at the Griffin Gazette have also published some important stories ranging from addressing the fentanyl crisis to the human rights abuses abroad in Qatar. Some articles tackle the complexties and nuance within student’s everyday lives. Two such stories include: ‘A black Ariel is now part of our world’ by Bella Kim and ‘Spotlight: Girls’ Golf’ by Alicia Tan, in which both writers command attention to areas of the student body that are deeply personal. Kim, Tan, and other journalists for the newspaper feel a sense of pride and enjoyment for how their articles have reached people.

Commenting on her story, Kim says, “It was the first editorial that I’d ever written where I allowed my opinion to show through. I’m proud of myself for writing about something I feel passionate about.”

Concerning ‘Spotlight: Girls’ Golf,’ Tan says, “I’m most proud of my girls golf spotlight article, because I think it highlighted the importance of recognizing female sports and showed the love for my team.”

The prowess that the Griffin Gazette’s writers have shown has been exemplified through awards by the SNO network. SNO lauded ‘Heat wave, energy crisis, climate change: What’s next?’ co-authored by Alicia Tan and Sean Macdonald and “A Los Al senior’s podcast: ‘The Sy-STEM“ by Bella Kim, a Best of SNO Excellence in Writing award.

People that have made us

The Griffin Gazette would not be possible without Mrs. Franzen, the journalism teacher, and editors Katie Arnoult, Bella Kim, Adalie Landa, Alicia Tan, Michael Warren, and Sophia Youngs. Additionally, thanks to connections from Franzen, Jeanette Andruss of hyperlocal education newspaper ‘Spotlight Schools’ and Michael Coronado, a professor of journalism for Cypress College, were able to give journalistic insight to our writers. To Andruss and Coronado, the Griffin Gazette thanks you for taking valuable time out of your schedules to accommodate us.

The future vision

The future for the Griffin Gazette is bright. Talented writers from all backgrounds have come together to shine light on school affairs and spread awareness to events that are not well covered. Together, journalists for the Griffin Gazette are excited for what semester two has to offer. Both staff writers Jonas Corliss and Rommel Salazar hope to expand their horizons in the stories that they cover.

Corliss of the 12th grade says, “[I am looking forward to] being able to cover more topics, mainly pop culture, that I find interesting.”

Meanwhile, Salazar says, “I’m looking forward to covering more clubs and school events.”

No matter the topic of writing, the Griffin Gazette is looking forward to the future. And, for all of our readers, the Griffin Gazette thanks you for your patronage.