The Summer Times started in 1978, and the production has changed drastically since then. Back then, students wrote up their stories using typewriters or they just plain hand-wrote them. This method, joked the former journalism teacher Robert Spurrier, was closer to the 19th century than the 20th century. Spurrier was the journalism teacher from 1980 to 1995. Now, he teaches two English classes and one history class here at Exeter.
In the past, the students would bring in their typewritten stories, and then they would be peer-edited. The stories were due Tuesday, and they were corrected and returned Wednesday. On Wednesday, the students would plan the paper. Once the articles were perfected, the writing would be taken to a place called Exeter News-Letter which was then across the street from Merrill Hall. A woman there would take the copies and type up the writing on a computer. Then, the students would measure and literally sketch out the layout. They would glue the stories where they thought they should go. This sketch would then go to press on Thursday, and be distributed to the community Friday morning.
Today, the production of the newspaper is digitized. The students write their articles on a computer and then email them to a shared gmail account where they are edited by Mr. Blumenthal. Then, the articles and pictures are laid out by proctors Alec Greaney and Michaela Streep in a computer program called Adobe InDesign. This is beneficial because as Spurrier said, “the obvious advantage is that the Internet is faster.” It is also less work. Back in the 80s, if a student had a typo or the news changed, they would have to retype the whole article on their typewriter. The new technology has changed the production of the newspaper, and it is continuing to change as more and more news is becoming available online. This is the first year The Summer Times is available online.
For a long time, newspapers have played an important role in everyday life. Will they ever die out? We agree with Spurrier when he says,”there is nothing like holding a newspaper reading about someone you know.”