Vermillion temporary home to new newspaper Girls Staters publish Sacajawea Scroll

Vermillion temporary home to new newspaper Girls Staters publish Sacajawea Scroll Pressman Pete Peterson talks with Girl Staters Brittney Rhoades, Jenny Young and Caroline Knutson as the final 2002 edition of the Sacajawea Scroll rolls off the press early Saturday morning. by David Lias The publication of a new daily newspaper in Vermillion was short-lived, but highly informative.

Members of the South Dakota Girls State Journalism City, with the assistance of staff at USD's Volante and the Broadcaster Press, published the Sacajawea Scroll for four days of the week-long Girls State session at USD.

Fifteen high school girls in Journalism City helped write articles and take photographs for the tabloid daily publication.

The result was a product bursting with a wide variety of news, human interest and opinion articles and full color and black and white photographs.

"We used the girls for all content, that is for all the stories, and photography," said Jack Marsh, advisor of Journalism City.

"It was a new experience for everybody," Marsh said. "The purpose of Girls State is to really model how a state functions, so we tried to be as realistic as possible when it came to journalism. Putting out a good daily newspaper was educational and informative for the girls."

Staff members of USD's Volante helped design the pages and prepare them for production.

"We had five editors from the Volante who we used as counselors and were editors," Marsh said. "They led teams of girls, did the editing and the layout and the actual production of the paper.

"We didn't want the girls to get bogged down in the technical aspects of putting out a newspaper," he said. "We wanted them to have the experience of reporting and writing and taking pictures. One reason the newspaper looks so professional is we had a top-flight team of Volante editors who did the actual design, layout and editing of the paper."

Girls State convened at USD May 26, and ended Saturday, June 1.

At 5:30 a.m. Saturday, reporters Caroline Knutson, Elk Point, Brittney Rhoades, Sioux Falls, and photographer Jenny Young, Sturgis, accompanied Marsh to the Broadcaster Press to watch pressmen Pete Peterson and Gerald Pedersen at work.

Journalism City participants delivered computers disks containing their finished pages to the Broadcaster at approximately 11 p.m. General manager Bill Willroth and graphic specialist Penny Tucker worked late to transform the data on the computers to page negatives which were developed into plates for the printing press.

A different group of students rolled out of bed early each publication day to watch the Scroll roll off the presses and later deliver the newspapers to their fellow Girl Staters.

"Our high school newspaper is just a one page spread in our local weekly paper," said Knutson as she watched the last edition of the 2002 Scroll being printed. "This is a lot bigger operation."

The students in Journalism City held daily staff meetings to plan each day's newspaper.

The result � three 12-page publications, and one bursting with 16 pages of news and photos.

"Bill and everybody over at the Broadcaster were so accommodating and bent over backwards to let those girls have the experience of putting out a daily newspaper," Marsh said. "They really went above and beyond the call. And the press crew came in special on both Friday and Saturday.

"It was just a wonderful thing for them to do so we could put out a daily newspaper and these girls could experience the challenges and the joys of journalism," he said.

"It's hard work, but it was a lot of fun," Rhoades said.

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