HomeCity NewsStudent Journalism Initiative A Big Winner for All Parties

Student Journalism Initiative A Big Winner for All Parties

Titan Shield, Cathay Bank, Tribune Join Forces to Increase Awareness of School Newspaper

What 14 months ago was just a vague vision eventually transformed into a program that, while far from transforming the concept of community journalism, certainly provided a new perspective.

Jose Caire, who last May had been named advisor to San Marino High School’s Titan Shield newspaper, was looking for avenues to increase their frequency of publication during the 2015-16 school year. San Marino Tribune Editor Mitch Lehman saw a solution. Esther Wee, Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing and CRA Officer at Cathay Bank, saw an opportunity to further support the students.

Three months later, Carie and Andy Salter purchased the 87-year-old newspaper and made the partnership a priority.

Throughout the just-completed school year, a full page of Titan Shield content appeared in each edition of The Tribune, 1,100 newspapers were distributed to San Marino High School students and staff members and the entire community was offered a weekly glimpse into the student publication.

“Performance excellence is deeply embedded in the Cathay Bank DNA,” said Cathay Bank’s Esther Wee. “It truly has been an honor to collaborate with the San Marino Tribune to celebrate excellence in San Marino High School. We were honored to make it possible for the entire student body and staff to receive a copy of the paper and increase the exposure of the great things being done at San Marino High School. We are proud of the students’ many accomplishments and encourage the entire student body to continue in pursuit of excellence.”

“This program has allowed far more exposure about what goes on at San Marino High School,” said Principal Mary Johnson. “Community members frequently comment about what they see in the paper, and that aspect of the program has brought about greater awareness of school activities and events. We have benefited from the program and are grateful to Cathay Bank for making it possible. I am proud of our kids and seeing a page of our school newspaper published in The Tribune is a very positive and innovative addition to local news.”

“I am proud of our new and exciting partnership with the San Marino Tribune,” said Caire, who also serves as advisor for the award-winning yearbooks at SMHS and Huntington Middle School. “The weekly page completed by our Titan Shield staff has provided us with the opportunity to keep our readership informed while at the same time increasing our reach to the many more readers The Tribune has. I have received many compliments from San Marino citizens, alumni, current students, and parents who enjoy this new format. The Titan Shield staffers feel honored to have their work included as a part of a professional publication. We are thankful for this opportunity and plan to continue with our partnership for years to come. We are also thankful to The Tribune staff, editor, and owners for their support and willingness to turn this crazy dream that Mitch and I had into a reality. It is always a good time seeing Mitch join us at our weekly staff meetings. He provides the staffers with real life perspectives and with very valuable advice and support. I also recognize and thank Cathay Bank for their support of San Marino High School by sponsoring printing of the weekly page in The Tribune.”

The positive attitude and camaraderie is shared by the students and staff members at The Shield. Valerie Wang, who recently graduated from SMHS and is headed for New York University, served as co-editor of The Shield this past school year.

“I particularly enjoyed being able to work on a weekly deadline with The Tribune,” said Valerie. “In the past, Titan Shield worked bi- or tri-weekly, but this year, we learned to adapt and push forward to meet deadlines. It’s an amazing opportunity The Tribune presented upon us. Not only do we distribute on the school campus but also across the city. This new publication makes us constantly produce up-to-date articles to match the variety of weekly stories found in The Tribune.”

Debbie Hwang served as features editor this past year and will continue her education at the University of San Diego. A travelogue she wrote for The Tribune detailing her experience at the annual Yosemite Winter Survival excursion received a unanimously positive response from the community.

“The opportunity to contribute to a newspaper every week this year was great,” Debbie said. “With this new schedule, we as a class were given more exposure to events on campus and in the community because we needed more content. Having our student-written articles read by not only our peers around campus but also by neighbors and friends around the city was very exciting. More people were coming up to me and acknowledging my articles.”

“We want to be among the most innovative community newspapers in the country, and this is one component of that strategy,” said Tribune Publisher Andy Salter. “Launching this new partnership and platform was one of the first initiatives we took upon purchasing the paper. Its success has exceeded our expectations.”


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