By The Blaze Staff
The Chronicle has launched a new monthly newspaper produced by students of Centralia College and focused on campus news. This monthly newspaper, which will be distributed for free at Centralia College and inserted into print editions of The Chronicle, is part of a new comprehensive journalism program, independent of Centralia College, operated by The Chronicle as a service to the college and the community.
This new newspaper will focus on news of and about Centralia College, including Centralia College East in Morton, and is being called The Blaze, in homage to the college’s Blazer mascot.
The Blaze fills a gap created by the closing of the former paper sponsored and published by the college, known as B&G, or Blue and Gold, according to Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Brian Mittge.
“Centralia College deserves a great student newspaper like The Blaze, and we’re looking forward to seeing what news our Blaze reporters will dig up for students and Chronicle readers alike,” Mittge said.
The concept demands that students of the college work in The Chronicle’s newsroom as interns, learning the ideas and real-world skills that the news industry actually needs. This will include news writing, photography, page design, and web development, among others.
Eric Schwartz, assistant editor at The Chronicle, had the idea to create this newspaper. Schwartz attended Centralia College and worked on the Blue and Gold several years before it ceased publication. He worked with Centralia College’s interim dean of instruction, T.R. Gratz, who for many years was the advisor of the Blue and Gold.
The goal of this newspaper, Schwartz said, is to create a mutually beneficial partnership between The Chronicle and Centralia College that generates real-world journalists as well as a younger base of newspaper readers.
Another key member of this new effort is Centralia College student Hallie Simons, a 2012 Centralia High School graduate who served as editor of the Columns high school newspaper.
Simons, who joined The Chronicle as an intern this summer, is the first editor-in-chief of The Blaze.
Other members of The Blaze Board include Chronicle Publisher Christine Fossett; Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Brian Mittge; Chronicle Retail Sales Director Brian Watson; Chronicle web developer Brittany Voie; Chronicle Sports Editor Aaron VanTuyl, who is also an adjunct professor at Centralia College; Chronicle sports photographer and writer Brandon Hansen; Chronicle Visuals Editor Pete Caster; and Chronicle page and advertising designer Kelli Erb.
The goal is to essentially develop a “newsroom within a newsroom.” This is both metaphorically and literally true — a corner office in The Chronicle’s downtown Centralia newsroom has been converted into an office and a working college newsroom for The Blaze.
Students will produce a monthly edition of The Blaze to be inserted in the Main section of The Chronicle, producing their own content, photos, and page design. In addition, they will also work with Chronicle mentors to develop their unique skills and produce content for the Chronicle.
There is some hope to expand the comprehensive program to include other newspapers in the Pacific Northwest, allowing participants to experience life in other newsrooms as well.
From Centralia College’s standpoint, they’re having one of the most hands-on journalism programs in the country given to them. The skills developed will be more than just credits, but rather real-world experience and know-how that is invaluable and can’t be taught in a mere classroom.
Students are welcome from more fields than just journalism. Other useful programs include art, business, graphic design, english, and so many others. Those students that can work with multiple departments will be the most useful, though they don’t necessarily need to be studying in multiple fields.
Stories will be online at www.centraliablaze.com and shared at www.facebook.com/centraliablaze.
Students interested in participating in this newly-launched program are welcome to contact Hallie Simons at (360) 807-8250 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.