I am very lucky to be able to have my own page here at the Westmount Wire, and I thank everybody who has helped me make it my best page possible. I also have to thank Ms. Mcartney and everybody who has contributed to even one edition of this glorious paper, as it’s because of you that this paper still exists. I wanted to know more, so I went over to Ms. Mcartney’s and got the full scoop of how the Westmount Wire came to be.
What Inspired Westmount Wire? What were some of the successes? What were some of the problems?
“I was a journalist for about ten years before I became a teacher and when a friend who had followed a similar path showed me his school newspaper one day (it was printed on actual newsprint and was the size of the Calgary Herald!) I was hooked. We couldn’t pull it off on that scale, but I knew we just had to have our own school newspaper. The first paper was put out by our “Newspaper Club” which consisted of about five students who wrote and produced the entire thing themselves on their own time. The kids were really enthusiastic and the results included some really well researched, well written stories about things students were interested in and passionate about. One of the earliest editors, a really creative guy named Liam Volke, had a really small staff one year so he ended up writing a few entire newspapers himself. That happened with the yearbook in one of it’s earliest years as well. A ridiculous amount of work for just one person, but he did it just the same.”
What sort of feedback did you get from the Westmount Wire?
“Generally we have always received excellent feedback about the Wire. At one point we were photocopying it and someone complained that it was a huge waste of paper (which it kind of was). We took that complaint into account and went digital as soon as we could.”
What do you think makes Westmount Wire different from other newspapers?
“I think by virtue of the fact that the Wire is written and produced by Westmount students for Westmount students, it is entirely unique. Our students are interested in and think really deeply about issues and events – both local and global. Our students also get really excited about things like “Comic Con” a little more than the average Calgary student. The paper represents Westmount students – in all our wonderful diversity and quirkiness.”
How successful did you think that the Westmount Wire would become? Did you achieve that goal?
“The quality of the writing has really improved over the years and I think that is what makes me most proud. It’s really exciting for me to see students take their writing to the next level and write stories about what they really care about. Some of my former Wire writers have also gone on to write for well established magazines, blogs and newspapers and I am always thrilled to see that interest in journalism carry forth.”
So to everybody who was in Westmount Wire, is still in the Westmount Wire and will be in the Westmount Wire, thank you for making such a beautiful reality.