He said he has learned a lot about journalism in his two years with the paper but the most important lesson is that every story must be based in facts. Good punctuation helps, too, he added.
Sonali pointed out that stories should have a lot of details and Michael noted the importance of a good introduction, known as a lead.
The Squealer is usually filled with pictures, either taken by Jacob or provided by teachers. The students stick to the writing and editing.
Vito said there is no better feeling than seeing the newspaper come out with his name right on the front page. He said he got a lot of kudos from his classmates after the first edition came out this year.
The first issue ever of the newspaper was in 1988. Jacob held a contest to name the paper, and a group of teachers chose Wheeler Squealer. It has evolved over the years as it was first put together by actually cutting and pasting type. Some pages were even handwritten. Now it is all done by computer.
Jacob said that the students feel a sense of satisfaction in writing for the paper. “This is about giving kids audience,” he said. “It creates purpose for writing when you have an audience.”
In 25 years, Jacob said he has always had an enthusiastic bunch of writers. “It’s a club,” he said. “It’s not a classroom assignment. The kids who come, want to do it.”