Crowdfunding for Marjory Stoneman Douglas student newspaper hits halfway mark

In the two weeks since the shooting that claimed 17 lives at a high school in Parkland, Florida, hundreds across the ...

Posted: Mar 4, 2018 7:35 AM
Updated: Mar 4, 2018 7:35 AM

In the two weeks since the shooting that claimed 17 lives at a high school in Parkland, Florida, hundreds across the globe have come together to pledge funds and support to the students documenting the tragedy and its aftermath for the school's newspaper and yearbook.

A GoFundMe campaign created on the day of the shooting to benefit the student journalism program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has raised more than $15,000, half its $30,000 goal, as of Friday. The campaign is "trending" on GoFundMe and has been shared 1,300 times on social media.

Funds raised will go towards printing an ad-free commemorative issue of The Eagle Eye, the quarterly student newspaper, and an additional opener, closer, and memorial pages for The Aerie, the student yearbook. The publications do not receive funding from the state or the district, newspaper adviser Melissa Falkowski said. Leftover money will go towards buying new computers and cameras.

The campaign was started by a high school yearbook adviser several states away. Allison Miller said news of the shooting hit particularly hard, as her school in Flower Mound, Texas, shares similar demographics with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "It's not like a case of flooding, where they need money to replace things," she said. "What can we do to even help?"

Miller explained that both Marjory Stoneman Douglas and her high school, Marcus High School, are located in areas with similar socio-economic status and contain about the same numbers of students. (U.S. News & World Report lists Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's total enrollment as 2,972 and Marcus High School's as 2,439.)

Miller originally wanted to finance a yearbook for every Marjory Stoneman Douglas student. Like The Aerie, her publication is printed by Walsworth Publishing Company. Miller reached out to Walsworth to coordinate the initiative, and the publisher served as the liaison between Miller and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. After some consideration, the campaign was expanded to benefit the newspaper as well.

"Journalism doesn't take a break in the face of tragedy, so they have to carry on," Miller said. "We decided to start this to help raise the funds for these students to pursue any avenue that they choose to pursue and to use their voices without the fear of the costs and the fear of the repercussions."

Rebecca Schneid, 16, a survivor of the February 14 shooting and one of the editors in chief of The Eagle Eye, said every issue of the paper costs about $3,800 to print, "but more for this one, obviously, because we want it to be in every single student and faculty member's hands." The GoFundMe has been amazing in helping to cover the costs, she said, and the support her paper has received has bolstered her drive to continue telling her high school's story.

"There's so much outreach from across the country, and I think that feeds my journalistic ambitions to want to continue to write, because there's so much support," Schneid told CNN over the phone. "Because even though this has strengthened my love for journalism, it could have easily squashed somebody else's. You never know how you're going to react to this kind of trauma, to this kind of change in your life, so I think that the support around the country has really, really helped me in that."

The show of support appears to be flooding in from all over the world, including many who are associated with media and journalism. "This donation is on behalf of the Colorado Student Media Association," reads one comment, while another pledges support from The Arrowhead, the newspaper of Souderton Area High School in Pennsylvania.

"Solidarity and love from someone who was a high school and college journalist and news editor. Stay strong," reads another comment.

Jake Palenske, an instructor with the Columbia Scholastic Press Association who teaches sessions on digital media and fake news, is among those who donated to the campaign.

"Every time I see a student organization that's a journalism organization doing great work and needing some financial support, I always try and chip in," Palenske told CNN in an interview. "But in this case, if there was ever a point where students needed to be able to have their own outlets to tell the story of the school and to tell the story of an event, it's this."

Sarah Lerner, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's yearbook adviser, is taking her students to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association conference in the coming weeks. She said the trip was planned before the tragedy, but events that celebrate student journalism are even more important in light of recent events.

"Using your student voice, whether it's through pictures, through your words, through design, it means so much more now because they're seeing how much of a difference they can make," Lerner said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 71015

Reported Deaths: 3013
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15322723
Lake7343274
Elkhart471380
Allen3725160
St. Joseph330179
Hamilton2610104
Vanderburgh184213
Hendricks1814106
Cass17669
Johnson1694118
Porter123839
Clark114846
Tippecanoe114611
Madison89565
LaPorte86930
Howard85565
Kosciusko82712
Marshall75822
Bartholomew75447
Floyd74045
Monroe70830
Delaware68052
Dubois65812
Boone65346
Noble64529
Hancock63838
Jackson5625
LaGrange55410
Warrick55330
Vigo54310
Shelby53527
Grant52029
Dearborn47928
Morgan45134
Clinton4043
Henry36919
White35110
Montgomery34621
Wayne34610
Lawrence33727
Decatur32432
Harrison30923
Putnam2778
Miami2642
Daviess25920
Scott25710
Greene24134
Franklin23413
DeKalb2234
Jasper2192
Jennings21512
Gibson2084
Steuben2043
Ripley1947
Perry17912
Fayette1777
Starke1747
Orange16624
Posey1650
Wabash1613
Fulton1592
Carroll1572
Wells1542
Jefferson1532
Whitley1476
Knox1420
Tipton1296
Huntington1213
Washington1211
Spencer1193
Newton11410
Randolph1144
Clay1045
Sullivan911
Adams892
Jay840
Owen831
Pulaski751
Brown711
Rush714
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford592
Ohio574
Pike520
Parke501
Vermillion480
Crawford440
Switzerland440
Martin420
Union350
Warren201
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97471

Reported Deaths: 3618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17834521
Cuyahoga13141491
Hamilton9374252
Lucas5155320
Montgomery417487
Summit3433218
Marion291045
Butler282262
Mahoning2477254
Pickaway237842
Stark1766137
Warren171136
Lorain168977
Columbiana161860
Trumbull1481105
Fairfield130931
Delaware126319
Licking120247
Clark111514
Lake107338
Wood99358
Clermont89211
Medina88735
Miami81137
Tuscarawas76214
Portage74361
Allen69942
Greene65611
Belmont59226
Richland58911
Mercer57313
Erie55627
Ashtabula55045
Geauga54844
Wayne51958
Ross4444
Huron3885
Ottawa36825
Sandusky36316
Darke36027
Athens3531
Hancock3533
Madison34910
Holmes3266
Lawrence2420
Auglaize2395
Union2331
Jefferson2192
Muskingum2151
Scioto2111
Putnam19917
Washington19822
Knox1917
Seneca1903
Coshocton1886
Shelby1774
Preble1762
Crawford1715
Morrow1652
Hardin15912
Clinton1586
Champaign1571
Highland1461
Fulton1441
Logan1402
Ashland1373
Wyandot1368
Defiance1334
Williams1303
Brown1232
Perry1163
Guernsey1147
Hocking1149
Henry1132
Carroll1105
Fayette1090
Monroe9118
Pike750
Jackson730
Van Wert701
Paulding640
Gallia621
Adams592
Meigs330
Vinton302
Morgan230
Harrison221
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Few Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Sunny, Pleasant Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events