Yes, We Have a School Newspaper

A paper for the students by the students.

The MACOHI is a program that at its core is dedicated to bringing the student body the unadulterated truth in a nice, entertaining, and concise way. For decades, it has served as a companion to our school, both as yearbook and then newspaper. It has been a torch in the darkness for the student body, lighting up classrooms with humor and honest reporting. For the past decade it has been… pretty much unheard of. I cannot count the number of times somebody has questioned the notion that we even have a school paper, much less the quality of the stories. Yes, the unfortunate truth is that the relevancy of The MACOHI has fallen to the wayside, which has been a metaphorical bruising on the collective ego of our staff members. However, like much here at Manatee this year, The MACOHI is back and hopefully better than ever. 

Unfortunately, our famed Ms. McCarthy has sailed for clearer waters, and we wish her all the best in her new position. However, despite losing our captain, our loyal and hearty crew have not given up hope just yet. For not all is lost! Mr. Gilbert, known for teaching boring and strange novels in his American Literature courses, has taken the wheel and readjusted our course to intercept that sought-after great white whale: that ever-distancing goal of returning The MACOHI to its former glory. Thankfully, Mr. Gilbert bagged a few great whales in his time at Manatee High.

Photo Credit: Conner Sauer

Mr. Gilbert fostered The MACOHI as one of its editors when he attended our school. Though afternoons spent writing and editing may have caused may have driven his then advisor to madness, it certainly produced a more than quality paper. The stories of The MACOHI staff during those long ago years of 2012 could be considered journalistic achievements of pen and paper, forgotten by time and tragedy. Nevertheless, there is not a teacher more passionate to take over our newspaper than the man who carried it on his back all those years ago. 

There are so many teachers at our school who recall the days of a paper that students wanted to read. I truly hope that we can return to those glorious days of old. It is my judgement that a school paper serves as a welcome companion to students and teachers alike, and especially one that is distributed, or at the very least, exists within the public sphere. Let us be completely transparent, nobody actively checks their school email, an email filled with offers from colleges that you have never even heard of. The essential information is drowned out by the intense amount of spam crowding your inbox.

There is, of course, the main school website but even that lacks the warmth and life of school culture and school spirit. We should be able to provide the news essential to the student body in a concise and entertaining manner way that brings events and people to life, and that is something we will do. 

There is an art form in turning the uninteresting interesting, and that art form is important for all budding journalists to master. I have full faith in our staff that we can bring you all what you need to know, in the way you would like to hear it. Already our website has undergone excellent changes, and we will continue to evolve and adapt to make a paper worth reading. We will listen to our readers to fine tune our methods and structure to make it as appeasing as possible. We will take both letters to the editor as well as student submitted stories in order to expand our library as well as create a paper by the students and for the students. We will reignite the fire in both our writers and readers and attempt to leave a legacy that will only flourish once we are graduated and gone. 

We will return to the days of MACOHI and Manatee Pride and create a paper better than it ever has been. One that is read in classrooms and on buses and at home and at work. One that captivates audiences. One known by more than our staff of 7, maybe 8. I believe those days of glory past can return. That this weary ship can rope into the harbor and return with a mighty whale in tow. That we can bring back the pride of our paper, just as we are bringing back the pride of our football team. Though we are helmed by a new captain with a new vision, it is still up to the crew to prevent us from being swallowed by the sea. 

We as the staff must take responsibility to keep our ship sailing, and I have confidence that we will. This group, however disorganized and sporadic, are truly gifted and I would not be a part of any other crew. 

The MACOHI is a household name in our district, one that transcends time in its history and uniqueness. Named after the original title of our school, Manatee County High School, the newspaper has survived the thrashing ravages of time and now has a future that is brighter than ever. We are determined to bring you the best. We are determined to uphold the utmost professionalism. We are Manatee.