Spectrum Staff Takes a Trip to the Printing Press

Spectrum news staff hold up their freshly printed copies of the latest edition.

Spectrum news staff hold up their freshly printed copies of the latest edition.

Isaac Mintz

The Spectrum staff took a trip on Feb. 13 to the Argus Press, who prints Spectrum’s news magazine every month. When they walked into the 100-year old building, secretaries smiled to welcome employees and guests alike.

The blossoming journalists were met by Tom Campbell, fourth generation owner of the Argus, a daily newspaper founded in 1854 under the name “The Owosso American.”

In a town of just over 15,000 people, the Argus Press reports on the majority of the area’s local news, including crime and high school sports. The editor-in-chief said a good day at work would be going to report on a house fire, which really shakes up the newsroom.

In recent history, a “highlight” included a cannabilism murder case, a rarity in the area.

But for student writers of WBHS, it was no ordinary day in the newsroom. 

“It was cool to see how our magazine is printed. The process is a lot more complicated than I thought,” said senior Jenna Anderson, Spectrum editor-in-chief.

The technical side of the visit was much appreciated by students and staff. But it was great to come together as a community of journalists — a team.

“The best part was just bonding with the Spectrum staff and doing something together,” she added.

“It was a blast,” said senior Sydney MacNoughton, Spectrum writer. “It wasn’t just a cool learning experience, but a great bonding experience too.”

As budding journalists explore the world of print, it is clear that news as an institution has seen a decline in recent years.

The Argus Press remains a trusted local news source, even since the decline of print.

A report released by PEN America in late 2019 illustrated the loss of newspaper prominence given the rise of the internet, alongside the takeover by the “duopoly” of Google and Facebook. 

“Over 1,800 newspapers have closed, leaving more than three million people with no newspaper at all, and more than at least a thousand have become ‘ghost newspapers’ with little original reporting,” stated the report.

It further highlights the city of Detroit, explaining the lack of local coverage has had a detrimental impact. 

“Across the city, the population of which is more than 80 percent black, communities of color feel that pressing issues—from rampant development to water shutoffs—are not being covered critically or in-depth.”

Tom Campbell, owner of the Argus, with framed photographs of the previous owners of the paper, his ancestors.

Campbell has directly seen the impacts of the decline in local journalism, however, he is hopeful for its future.

“People will come to value journalism,” said Campbell. “You have to come to realize that social media is not journalism. There is not a lot of research or verification on social media.”