Behind The Scenes: Mane Street Mirror Edition


Mrs. Jill Dion

Learning From the Best: Journalism 2 and 3 students meetings with Pam McLoughlin, who has been a journalist for over 40 years, November 28, 2022.

          While there are many organizations that have hard workers behind the scenes, Foran Journalism stands out among the rest. Between producing a monthly newspaper and regularly uploading articles to, the writers, editors, and advisors of the Mane Street Mirror work vigorously to make it all possible. 

          The journalism program has been around for an extremely long time, with two advisors in charge prior to Mrs. Lisa Farrell, who is the current advisor of the Mane Street Mirror. The paper was rebranded ten years ago by Farrell, and the Mane Street Mirror came alive. 

          The original advisor hand-printed a paper through a printing press in Ms. Megan Hudson’s current room, and it was entitled The Paper Lion. 

          Additionally, the paper’s previous advisor, Jennifer Dufault, would publish articles solely through Microsoft. Bringing back the print edition was one of the several things Farrell brought to the program when she began in 2013. Farrell’s responsibilities as advisor include ensuring that all story ideas are valid and keeping the entire staff, which currently composed of 65 total members, on track to meet their deadlines.

          Farrell says, “Every day is different. Students have a responsibility to represent their school and their community and they make a difference in their coverage of stories.”

          This year, there are 32 members in Journalism 1 and 33 members between Journalism 2 and 3. Considering the variety of levels in this program, some students have more experience than others, and this brings forth different strengths and weaknesses. 

          Elle Philpott, a junior and current Journalism 1 student, says she finds “coming up with ideas to be the most challenging part of being a journalism student.” 

          Although difficult at times, there are many rewards that also come with being a part of the journalism program. 

          Social Media Editor Julia Deicicchi is an asset to the promotion of the Mane Street Mirror. 

          She says, “I took journalism because I love to write, and this class gives me creative freedom. I plan on doing something within the journalism field, so this class has been great preparation for the real world.”

          Every month, each journalism student is expected to write an article on a new topic, although they can write with a partner if they wish. Once a student has an idea, they must submit a pitch form outlining their plan for the article. Then, they must begin to reach out to different sources in order to start writing their rough draft. After peer editing is completed in class, corrections are made and the articles are reviewed by an editor before being published either online or in that month’s newspaper. 

          Senior Ginger Schmidt, a layout editor this year, plays a massive role in the production of the paper every month. She is in charge of the front page and  spent her summer days redesigning it to give it a new and fresh look.

          Schmidt comments, “Being able to combine my passion for design with journalism has been great. I have been able to discover the creative side of journalism that not many people know about.”

          The Mane Street Mirror has many fans, with administration being one of them. Mr. Justin Zywocinski, Dean of Students, particularly believes that journalism is an extremely beneficial class to take. In addition, he is an avid reader of the paper and enjoys every new issue. 

          Zywocinski says, “[The paper] helps to keep me informed about what is going on in school and it helps me learn things I wouldn’t otherwise know about our students.”

          Journalism can now be taken as early as freshman year, and the staff writers and editors of the Mane Street Mirror encourage everyone to try it out. 

          Deicicchi shares, “Students should join journalism because of the learning opportunities and the connection to the school community. Writing is a great skill to have, and journalism is an outlet to expand on these skills.”