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News Education FHS class getting a taste of online journalism

FHS RedOnline is an online news publication produced by students at Franklin High School. Every day students come to class ready to work. The website is a great resources for both parents and students to learn what is going on in the Panther community. Photo by RedOnline classFHSRed.com is the ‘go-to’ site for school news.

Starting in the fall of last year, students began producing Franklin High School's main source of news and RedOnline became the official news publication of Franklin High School. RedOnline is made possible through an optimistic staff collaborating to bring readers the most up-to-date news and information about sports, activities, people, and events at Franklin High School. RedOnline was founded at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. The completely online resource features information which strives to be factual, entertaining, and truthful.

Under the guidance of Penny Moffitt, students enter class each day with ideas on what to upload. The website, www.FHSRed.com, changes daily and is designed to be a resource for students and parents. “Our main goal is for the website to be a resource for the community,” said Moffit. “We want parents to be able to use the site for up-to-date information about what is going on in the school and we want students to use it for things such and testing dates for the SATs and what is for lunch each day. We want to engage the community and be go-to for all things Franklin High School.”

Each student in the class has individual tasks to complete daily, but when they are done with their assigned duties, they work together to ensure the end product is a success. When students arrive to class, they hold a meeting, usually headed by FHS senior Krash Gooder. Gooder oversees the discussion and helps delegate tasks to each student. “I do a lot of the interviews and whenever anyone has anything to put on the website, they give it to me and I upload it,” said Gooder of his daily tasks. “I also help work on the graphics and banners that are on each tab of the website.”

According to Moffit, Gooder does most of the writing that gets put on the website and if he doesn't write the article himself, he works with the other students to edit articles.

“I really enjoy writing and there wasn't a lot on the website so I wanted to be a part of the class to have the opportunities to bring my passion and talent to the table,” said Gooder.

The RedOnline class writes all the content featured on the page, takes all the pictures, conducts all the interviews, and designs all the graphics and banners featured under every tab. This week students at RedOnline created a banner announcing that three of their own had been arrested for March of Dimes. Designed by RedOnline classLike Gooder, other students choose to take the course as a stepping stone to what they hope to work for in college. Senior Keirsten Hedden hopes to pursue advertising and marketing after graduation and looks at RedOnline as a great way to start that career. In addition to working on the website's golf and Fellowship of Christian Athletes pages, Hedden works on public relations for the online publication. “I work on getting the word out about the website and I try to stir support and help motivate people in the school to use and support what we are doing,” said Hedden. “I also handle the site's daily devotions and make graphics and banners that are featured on the main pages.”

Senior Amy Underwood noted that the course teaches the values of working together toward one common goal. “We really learn the value of teamwork,” said Underwood. “Regardless of what it is, you can't do it all by yourself, you may need help with graphics, or need someone to upload a photo to the website. We really need every member of the class in order to make it all work.” The website highlights two featured athletes each week that are currently excelling in their sport.

The students also go out and interview members of the faculty and staff and ask inside information such as most embarrassing moments to provide readers with fun, outside of the box information about teachers. Freshman Kiley Johnson is in charge of the weekly “teacher feature” as well as working with other students to cover the band and fine arts news. “I make sure to ask teachers fun, personal questions that students may not know already,” said Johnson.

“The students know that when they come in to class, they each have a job to do and they have to buckle down and do it,” said Moffit. “It is not like a normal class, but instead more hands-on. The students come in here each day and treat it like a job.”

After only being up and running for a little more than a year, the class is a work in progress. Moffitt noted that she looks at ways of improving the site's access and ways to get more people in the school involved in the day-to-day operations of the website.


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