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June 09, 2004 1 min read
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Boston Stories

Boston high school students have a new outlet for their writing, and a place to read news written by their peers.

Boston Teens in Print—a newspaper by and for teenagers in the city’s public schools—launched its first quarterly issue last month, with 20,000 copies distributed to 33 high schools throughout the city.

Articles in the 16-page first issue covered summer jobs, the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Boston, college preparation, and the experience of being a single parent.

Special columns covered horoscopes, fashion trends, and movies.

The tabloid is intended to give students an incentive to develop sharper writing skills and get published, said Betty Southwick, the director of WriteBoston, a nonprofit group that provides writing coaches in three Boston public high schools.

She said the group, an initiative of the city mayor’s office that receives almost 80 percent of its $450,000 annual budget from foundations, asked about 250 teenagers last fall what they would like to read about regularly.

“They said they would read a newspaper, if it was about things that interested them,” Ms. Southwick said. “The range included international, national, and local news, but they wanted the perspective of youth,” she said.

The newspaper’s development team also examined other citywide teen-written newspapers in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Memphis.

A citywide high school paper is “a good idea, especially where high school publications programs have been cut” due to budget shortfalls, said Linda Puntney, the executive director of the Journalism Education Association, based at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

Boston Teens in Print is printed at the Boston Globe’s printing plant.

Andrew Trotter

A version of this article appeared in the June 09, 2004 edition of Education Week

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