The Lion’s Roar Reflects: National Newspaper Week 2017


Laura Madler

The look of The Lion’s Roar has changed a lot through the years, but its presence remains steadfast at Menchville High School.

Laura Madler, Editor-in-Chief

October 1st-7th is National Newspaper Week- a time when news publications everywhere take time to reflect on what it means to be in the news business, and what traditional publications have to offer in a rapidly changing world.

Courtesy of National Newspaper Week website
This year’s theme for National Newspaper Week focuses on local newspaper accuracy and its community impact.

In the digital age, it is easy to discount local newspapers as the “outdated” source of news. After all, with smartphones in hand, one swipe or search can give us instant updates about situations in countries all over the world. Stories are turned out like factory products, offering the same information on multitudes of different websites and news platforms. Because of this, traditional newswriting methods and formats can seem slow and inefficient when compared to the apps and websites that flood readers with information in a matter of seconds.

The technological revolution has also forced traditional publications to adapt to a new world where screens predominate. Every year there are more online articles telling readers how “news is dying,” and “journalism is no longer about written stories,” and unfortunately, they are often right. Photos and broadcasts, previously paired with well-written information, now easily dominate written articles on most news sites. Given the option of a well-written article or a quick news brief video, news consumers automatically flock to the media form.

Why, then, with so many instantaneous and technologically advanced sources of news available at our fingertips, does the humble local newspaper still matter?

A community newspaper is, as its name suggests, for the community. Its national news may not always be immediate, and the coverage of world events may be scant, but the main focus of a local newspaper is on the community itself. Local publications represent local people and events, sharing their thoughts and stories within the district. Articles feature everyday issues that specifically affect the readers and their city, and they feature community figures that readers know and recognize. In essence, the local paper is a part of a community’s culture and lifestyle. Take, for example, the impact of Menchville’s own school paper, The Lion’s Roar.

The Lion’s Roar first emerged as a traditional print newspaper in 1972, two years after Menchville High School’s opening. After some time as a print paper, the publication converted to a magazine-style format in 1978. For the next years or so, the Lion’s Roar faded in and out existence. It was not until 2009 that the journalism program of Menchville High School really took hold, this time in the form of official Journalism classes and a quarterly news magazine. Since, the Lion’s Roar has grown with the times- adopting a purely online format and a prominent presence across forms of social media. The modern-day Lion’s Roar this article is posted on is virtually unrecognizable from its 1972 counterpart. Change with the times is necessary to keep up with the preferences of modern readers- its an inescapable part of staying relevant. However, whatever form the Lion’s Roar takes, there is one aspect of the publication that stays constant, and that is its standing as an integral part of Monarch culture.

Laura Madler
Old paper copies of The Lion’s Roar chronicle the life of the school through the years.

Since 1972, the Lion’s Roar has been covering news that matters to the Menchville students. Student writers on staff cover all topics ranging from football games to road construction, entertainment reviews to different uses for avocados, even profiles on Monarchs standing out in the community. In fact, this is what makes the Lion’s Roar such a unique publication- the students. All of the articles on the newspaper website are written strictly by 9th-12th graders at Menchville. Stories are written from the perspective of students, adding a viewpoint that others can relate to. Corporate national news can often seem distant to readers, leaving them asking, “Why does this matter to me?” and “Why should I care?” The Lion’s Roar instead strives to relate issues to the student body, writing about what will impact the students and their day-to-day lives. For instance, any news publication could have covered 2016’s major road construction in front of Menchville, but none of them could have written about how the project would impede students coming and going to school quite like the Lion’s Roar did.

Menchville’s school paper is a binding force of the student body. It helps students stay informed about issues in the community, as well as spreading awareness about different aspects of the school itself. After all, Menchville is a large community. With far over a thousand students, it is not easy for students to know about everything going on in the school. The Lion’s Roar helps this by covering all sorts of different profiles and events within the school. Whether it’s a victory by the soccer team or the show choir, there is always information about the groups on the paper’s website. Equal, informative coverage of school activity from the viewpoint of the students themselves is truly the core of the Lion’s Roar.

As National Newspaper Week comes to a close, the staff writers have taken time to reflect on their paper’s storied past. Old print editions have been taken out of boxes and read again, telling the student stories with the same unmistakably “Menchville” feeling as they did in 1993. For over forty years now, the Lion’s Roar has been, is, and always will be a paper for the students, by the students.

“For over forty years now, the Lion’s Roar has been, is, and always will be a paper for the students, by the students.””

The world of journalism may be changing rapidly, but the school paper will continue to be a constant feature of Menchville High School- “giving Menchville and the surrounding community a voice” since 1972.









Students who wish to write for the Lion’s Roar can submit article ideas, feedback, and letters to the editor through the links on the homepage. Those who wish can also join the Lion’s Roar after-school club, where members can take on story ideas and cover events for the paper.