(COVINGTON, La.) — The Paper Wolf, St. Paul’s School’s online news site, recently broke the 100,000 view milestone by publishing nearly 500 articles since its inception in 2012 and attracting readers from around the globe.
“It’s been a great ride,” said Paper Wolf Managing Editor Christi Simoneaux. “It was a huge undertaking to change the printed paper to a digital one, but it has become a huge success in only the two short years that it has been digital.”
Though barely more than two years old, The Paper Wolf has already won several awards from various press associations, including the gold medal for two years running from the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) and first place for digital publishing from the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association (LSPA).
“When we won the digital publishing award from LSPA, the LSU director of student media called us pioneers in scholastic digital publishing,” Simoneaux said.
The Paper Wolf started originally as a printed publication in 1999. It was changed to a digital form in 2011 at the request of Principal Trevor Watkins, who was assistant principal at the time. According to Watkins, one major reason for the change was that “printing on paper is costly, wasteful and not environmentally sound.”
Watkins also felt that a digital publication would be more representative of the modern media and would better prepare students interested in studying journalism in college.
When the change was first made, the student population had a strong backlash.
“I remember when I used to get excited for the Paper Wolf when it was sill paper,” said senior Turner St. Romain. “Now that it’s online, though, I didn’t read it as much until I got into the journalism class.”
Not all of the feedback was negative, however.
“Now that I’ve started to read the Paper Wolf, I can go back and read old articles that I wouldn’t have been able to read with the regular paperback publication,” St. Romain said.
“Even though the paper is online now, I like how new articles get posted every week instead of once a month,” junior Adam Satterlee added.
In its short life, The Paper Wolf has posted nearly 500 articles. The stories range heavily from worldwide topics to local stories around the Covington community and the campus of St. Paul’s. In addition to the gold medal honors from CSPA, many articles have won individual awards from the LSPA, including first place in Sports Column Writing, second place in News Writing, and third place in Sports Writing, Column Writing, and Feature Writing.
One of the most popular items in the history of The Paper Wolf is the currently ongoing Deadliest Teacher series with over 2,500 views across all media platforms.
“Being a part of something so big is incredible,” said current Deadliest Teacher author, Parker Layman.
To date, the most read article on the Paper Wolf is an article by Parker Layman on sophomore Reagan Hill and the recovery from his accident, which received over 3,000 direct views on the Paper Wolf site and reached nearly 12,000 people on Facebook. Other high volume articles included “Evolution of the Southern Gentleman,” a history of the marching band by Nick Ashton, and the 2013 school-wide Harlem Shake contest, “On Your Marks, Get Set, Shake!”. In total, the Paper Wolf has reached readers in over 75 different countries around the globe.
On Nov. 13, the staff of The Paper Wolf will travel to the annual LSPA conference on LSU’s campus, along with members of the Guerilla Wolves Wolf News team, for a day of learning and competitions with other high school journalists from around the state.