As many high school newspapers disappear, some Boulder County students turn to hybrid models

Times-Call (Longmont): Boulder High’s long-running student newspaper, The Owl, quietly disappeared a few years ago because of lack of student interest.

The 2,070-student school’s newspaper may have been the oldest student publication in Colorado, starting in 1908 as a magazine and first publishing in newspaper form in 1920.

But seven years ago, budget cuts and low enrollment — attributed in part to a much-loved newspaper adviser leaving — had the school’s language arts department debating shuttering the paper. The newspaper also was $3,700 in the red, with students unable to sell enough ads to cover costs.

Yearbook adviser Jeff Likes agreed to combine the yearbook and newspaper classes to save The Owl, working with the students to develop an online format for the paper.

The Owl survived for a few more years, with five to 10 students a year signing up for newspaper side of the classes, Likes said. But with just one student registered for the newspaper for the fall of 2014, the class switched back to yearbook only and the online newspaper stopped publishing.

“To date, there haven’t been any attempts to resurrect the class,” said Likes, who’s retiring at the end of the school year.

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