Berkeley High Jacket
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|Type||Biweekly student newspaper|
The Jacket is the student newspaper serving the roughly three thousand students of Berkeley High School, California. The paper is published every other Friday and is usually sixteen pages long, with only the front, back, and two middle pages in color. There are five sections in the paper: news, opinion, features, entertainment, and sports. The staff of the Jacket includes more than one hundred student editors, reporters, photographers, and videographers as well as one faculty advisor. The Jacket's editorial board is composed of about twenty-five students who are elected by the previous year's senior editors. The name of the paper is taken from the mascot of Berkeley High School, the Yellowjacket. From around the mid-1950s into the early 1960s, the paper was a daily, printed by students in the school's own print shop. Most issues at that time were one-sheets, that is, two-sided, 8½ x 11 inch pages. Friday issues were usually four pages long. You can find the Jacket's website at bhsjacket.com
In 1994, Frontline (PBS), produced a four-hour documentary about racial politics at Berkeley High School entitled School Colors , including a segment about the Jacket. The paper's editorial board was extremely vocal throughout the broadcasting of the program and the internal strife that followed.
Journalist of the Year
In the late 1990s, the paper gained widespread prominence after reporters Megan Greenwell and Iliana Montauk broke a story in Berkeley that resulted in criminal prosecution. The Jacket first reported that local business-owner Lakireddy Bali Reddy and his family were importing young women from India to work as sex slaves after one such woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Berkeley apartment complex.
In 2000, the Jacket staff was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, becoming the first-ever non-professional winner of the SPJ's highest honor .
In August 2008, Berkeley Repertory Theater kicked off its season with Yellowjackets, a play written by BHS alumnus and former Jacket editor Itamar Moses about life at Berkeley High in the mid-1990s. Directed by Tony Taccone, Yellowjackets focused on many of the events depicted in School Colors, including conflict resulting after the Jacket failed to print two articles about Chicano-Latino student activities at the school.
The Jacket's website was rebuilt in 2009, and is currently maintained by editors on the newspaper's board who update the site as issues are released. The site has unique flash elements and utilizes the Drupal content management system as its backbone. On March 19, 2010 The paper received the Golden Crown Award for the Jacket Online from The Columbia Scholastic Press Association, "the highest award given to a student publication by the Association." It can be located at www.bhsjacket.com. In 2011, the online portion received the Silver Crown Award from Columbia.