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‘Patriot Pages’ returns as multimedia site

“Patriot Pages” has evolved from student newspaper to an online showpiece of up-to-minute news, photos, sports, video and audio clips, social media and opinion at Bob Jones High School.

For about three years, “Patriot Pages” was inactive. “The newspaper needed motivated, goal-driven leadership. Without it, student interest and ad sales waned,” sponsor Brandy Panagos said.

“‘Patriot Pages’ is web journalism. It doesn’t exist in print. Students can use multimedia to enrich their stories,” Panagos said. Her multimedia design class produces the site.

Students Adam Dodson, Nkechi Nnorom, Kaley Bush, Lauren Askins and Jasmine Duncan are leading the project.

Seeing the print version end was sad, Panagos said. “With many professional print newspapers making the digital shift, we decided this was a timely, relevant way to revive ‘Patriot Pages.'”

To gather material, students use consumer cameras and camcorders, along with their Smartphones for video packages, photos and all audio. “We have more students involved than we have equipment. In multimedia design, we use both Macs, PCs and Adobe Creative Suite,” Panagos said.

The site actually is “a tweaked WordPress site. We make the best of it,” she said. Learning to create websites from scratch, students hope to use multimedia skills to help local businesses.

"Patriot Pages" staff at work.

Student editors review all stories before publication; Panagos reviews the site daily. “Multimedia doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s coupled with a message. Having something worthwhile to say and then saying it well have been the real challenges,” she said.

Panagos’ favorite feedback came from the last staff of the printed “Patriot Pages.” “They were pleased to see it up and running again.”

Dr. Julie Finley, Robby Parker and Dr. Camille Wright significantly improved their lab, but students still are sharing equipment. Major needs are completion of the Mac lab and installation of Adobe and Final Cut software. “It’s hard to learn to drive when you’re sitting in the passenger seat,” Panagos said.

“I’m hopeful our school board and administration will continue to see the worth of this endeavor,” Panagos said.

To read Patriot Pages, visit bjhspatriotpages.com. (Photos courtesy of “Patriot Pages”)

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