Why doesn’t anybody read our newspapers? It’s a question that seems to be in the back of everyone’s mind, especially to those of us who sit in Room 770, toiling over the next issue of The Catamount. Oh how feverishly we work, word after word, article after article, page after page, knowing deep inside our hearts that our words will be quickly glanced at by a small pool of the bustling student body, and eventually lie dormant under the ever-growing stack of hastily skimmed newspapers. The so-called “Voice of the Students” is nothing more than a hoarse whisper, drowned out by the manic hustle of schoolwork, friends, and the terrifying imminence of the future.
To put it bluntly, why would anyone read The Catamount? The internet pretty much killed the newspaper a decade ago. It takes approximately three weeks for us to put together an issue of The Catamount. That means every article in the paper is full of month-old news. That’s not news. That’s history.
Of course, most readers don’t read The Catamount for actual news. They read it out of pity for their peers and friends, who they know have poured countless hours into the scrappy paragraphs that they cherish so much.
Regardless of whether they read it out of curiosity or pity, the fact remains that most kids don’t bother reading. After 5 hours of grueling schoolwork, reading another wall of text really doesn’t sound appealing to anyone at all.
So if almost no one, reads our paper, what’s the point of even going to press? For the 40 people that even consider reading? The school’s probably losing money over this. So why do they continue to pay for every drop of ink, ink that’ll go caressed by the conscious realities of humanity, until it eventually reaches a point of nonexistence?
Well, maybe the point of it all is that there is no point. We see this everyday in Bothell, ranging from our extravagant pep assemblies to our prestigious Mr. Bothell show. The school seems to blow a lot of money off for fun, so why not The Catamount?
Or perhaps, the reason is more human than one would think. Maybe, it all ties back to the people who run our newspaper: teenagers. When I think of adolescence, I think of the sheer pointlessness of it all. I think of all the conversations that never went anywhere, and all the consequences of my actions that I could care less for. To me, that sums up the teenage experience. A time of wavering ignorance amidst a floundering mess of wasted opportunities, whether it be the grades you gave up on, the team you never tried out for, or that special someone you never talked to…
And that’s what The Catamount really is. Not a news source or school propaganda, it’s a physical manifestation of us, the students. It’s sloppy, wannabe, cringey, boring, anxious, schlocky, indecisive, pandering, pretentious and embarrassing, and that’s exactly what it needs to be.