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OUR VIEW: The future of journalism

About one year ago, a small group of students battled to keep the Mitchell High School newspaper together.

It was significant extra work, some of it thankless. But the hours added up.

They captured important moments in journalistic forms, via news stories, opinion editorials and photography. They did it for their readers, the students and faculty at MHS and others who were interested in what was going on at the high school. Most importantly, though, they recognized the importance and value of a newspaper.

Due to a number of factors, the Mitchell High School newspaper, The Kernel, is now defunct. To read about what's going on at the high school, at least from the viewpoint of a student, is nonexistent. This year, there will be no newspaper at Mitchell High School.

The Kernel was around for decades. We presume a good number of people reading this editorial took a newspaper course in high school.

And through the years of the student newspaper, hundreds of students practiced their writing, design and photography skills. If it didn't entice students to the newspaper industry as a profession, it at least helped them become interested in current events. The course encouraged students to be involved in their high school community.

That's what newspapers do. And that's why they're so important.

Successful communities have good, local newspapers. So when we heard at the beginning of the 2016 school year there was no official newspaper course, but there were a few students who wanted to keep The Kernel alive, The Daily Republic jumped at the opportunity to help. Quite simply, we need good journalists from here until the end of time.

It was the students last year who did the majority of the work for the not-for-credit, monthly newspaper — our staff offered guidance, encouragement and ideas. A little extra work results in pride and satisfaction, they learned, and a good number of student awards were picked up along the way.

As the beginning of this school year approached, staffers at The Daily Republic again raised our hands to help a new batch of students organize a monthly high school paper. Sadly, the interest wasn't there.

Today, we can't help but feel discouraged and disappointed to know a community of our size doesn't have a high school newspaper. We've heard this problem isn't exclusive to Mitchell, and the support for school newspapers is dwindling across South Dakota.

Remember, there will always be news to be delivered, government meetings covered and entertaining stories that deserve to be told.

As the Mitchell High School newspaper is now gone, it lends us to worry just a bit more about the number of journalists who bring us the ever-important news.

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