Yukon student newspaper honored

Gabi Merchen and her staff of three writers and designers continued a tradition this month. Their student-run newspaper, Insight, was named the top student newspaper in the state.

Insight is created monthly by Merchen and four other students at Yukon High School.

They report on what is going on inside the walls of Yukon High.

It’s the eighth consecutive Oklahoma Scholastic Media championship for the newspaper, and the 13th win in 14 years.

The newspaper’s adviser is Erik Jackson.

The newspaper competed in the largest class of the competition against much larger newspaper staffs from Edmond, Norman and Putnam City.

Edmond’s newspaper combines all the work from each of its different high school staffs into a single publication. Putnam City does something similar, Jackson said.

For Yukon, the staff includes Emma McCarthey, Hannah Salvo, Isabel Beck, Natalie Wooten and Merchen.

“We’ve won eight straight,” said Jackson. “We want to make sure we are the best.”

Many student newspapers have discontinued their print products and now are putting their material online.

Jackson said Yukon has tried that in the past, but students enjoy reading the newspaper.

“We’re still doing broadsheet,” he said.

The secret behind the newspaper’s success is what they put into the paper. It’s noncontroversial and it is all handled by the students.

Jackson said only the opinion page needs administration approval.

“It’s not hard-hitting journalism,” he said.

But it works.

“We have well-written stories.  And we have a strong editorial page,” he said.

Merchen, who is a senior, was honored as the writer of the year.

She plans to study professional writing at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, she said.

Yukon also was honored for best story and best blog.

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