What Puts the ‘Paper’ in The Paper Wolf?

Our new banner debuted this past week. (Graphic by Christi Simoneaux)
The new Paper Wolf banner debuted last week.

The website you’re on right now has a lot of things that can catch your eye: articles, pictures, social media links, and top-read stories are among them. The most eye-catching aspect among these, however, lies in our paradoxical website banner: The “Paper” Wolf.

But aren’t we a news site? How can it be a paper? It all goes back to our roots in the earliest publications of the first few decades of the 20th century. The St. Paul’s College Record was the first publication to document St. Paul’s campus life and lasted multiple decades after its inception in the 1910s.

After this stretch, the presence of a full-time newspaper became irregular according to the Conifer yearbook catalogue, not to be confused with the Conifer newspaper which also made appearances throughout the century.

The staff of Wolf Weekly collaborates in the 1994 edition of the Conifer. (Photo courtesy Conifer yearbook)
The staff of Wolf Weekly collaborates in the 1994 edition of the Conifer. (Image source: Conifer yearbook)

In the 1980s, St. Paul’s and SSA created a joint paper with intentions to continue it under the banner of “Wolf Tracks,” but there is no record of it happening after that year.  This, along with a few successful attempts at a paper called “Wolf Weekly,” preceded our current news publication which started in the 1999-2000 school year.

Until the fall of 2012, The Paper Wolf was published monthly in a physical copy that validated its name. Why switch to a digital format when print had been dominant for decades? To the program, it came down to budget and the ability to publish at will.

The name remained unchanged, however, and the driving force behind this was tradition. Our brand equity had been growing since 1999, and there was no reason to lose that equity and trust that The Paper Wolf brand had created. As with all things at St. Paul’s, tradition reinforced our decision.

Tradition is a prominent element of journalistic style. For example, the terminology used to describe elements of the production process is based off of the time period when newspapers were laid out by hand.

When you see (COVINGTON, La.) in front of our stories, it’s called a “dateline.” When newspapers were not published daily, the date was usually included along with the location. Modern journalists still refer to it as a dateline out of tradition.

Just as well, when you see descriptive text under a photo, it’s not called a “caption.” Media slang dubs it a “cutline.” When printing plates were being made for hard-copy newspapers, inserting a photo required a cut in the plate. Consequently, the line below the photo came to be called a cutline.

Even the format that you’re reading relates to formatting issues with print papers. Shorter paragraphs dominate journalistic writing style, and they are written as such because formatting a long, verbose paragraph was wildly inconvenient when each letter of text had to be laid by hand.

Going forward, The Paper Wolf has established numerous precedents and created its own traditions as the face of the next generation of St. Paul’s publications. Winning scores of awards, including sharing the title of the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association’s Best Overall Media Program in the state with the Guerilla Wolves, has become our standard. Tradition will always reign at St. Paul’s, and we stand on the shoulders of giants here in the St. Paul’s Student Media Department.

Members of the St. Paul's Student media proudly display their First Place Overall trophy on the steps of the LSU Student Union following the LSPA Conference. (Photo by John Meyer)
Members of the St. Paul’s Student media proudly display their First Place Overall trophy on the steps of the LSU Student Union following the 2015 LSPA Conference.
(Photo by John Meyer)


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