The Evolution of our Schoool Newspaper: Tigertalk

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Written by Madeleine Whitestone

If you haven’t quite figured out what on earth you are reading by now, this is Tigertalk, Harbord’s one and only student-run school newspaper and it is great! We publish bi-monthly and have a fabulous team of editors and writers that work they’re hardest to make this paper what it is.

Many of you might ask how about how this all began. As students we only attend high school for a very short amount of time.  We come in fresh in grade 9 and join a bunch of clubs that seem interesting but little do we know about how they got started. Harbord’s repertoire of many, many clubs did not just arrive with the opening of the school, nor did they spontaneously pop up year after year. There is no such thing as ministry mandated extracurricular activities. Every single club that we have at Harbord was created through the initiative and hard work of Harbord’s students and teachers.

I set out to try to discover how Tigertalk came to be assuming that due of that herculean effort that must have been made to get this paper off the grounds, there must be teachers or past students who would remember those early days that could help me in my quest of discovery.

After running around the school, sending out a couple emails here and there and possibly looking up some past harbordites on Facebook to try and squeeze some information out of them, I have figured out almost nothing.  How this newspaper began is a mystery but though all of this legwork I managed to piece together bits and bobs of facts and a few old Tigertalk issues.

This is what I do know; Tigertalk started after the graduation of Sydney Moscow, the Harbord Club director (who graduated in 1952). Tigertalk struggled a bit some period after it started and then it was revived around 2004 -2005. While it was starting back up again, it went through it fair share of phases while evolving into what it is today.  The very first issue I found was a piece of purple full-scap folded in half with articles about issues in the school and Toronto politics while also including clever limericks.

It then miraculously grew to become the kind of publication we see now with 12 pages in May of 2005, breaking down articles into sections such as politics/ philosophy, school news/ issues or arts & leisure.

Somewhere between then and 2009, Tigertalk transitioned into an 8 to 12 page pamphlet containing plenty of articles on current events and world issues. Those publications still had typical articles that we one might find in todays paper like horoscopes or school teams but sans sections or cover photos, in fact there wasn’t much photography present at all.

We then start to see the transition to something more similar to the modern Tigertalk in 2010.  Its sections are a bit more familiar to those we have today; Harbord buzz, entertainment and world issues. In 2011 sections like sports or arts & life started to appear. Fun articles like recipes or costume ideas stared to get published. They even played around with a magazine style issue printing the paper in a booklet rather than the typical newsprint paper.

In 2012 Tigertalk added a cover photo, something that never existed before and a feature or theme for every issue. Tigertalk also became digital with the creation of our blog (www.harbordtigertalk.wordpress.com). In 2014 we created our very first logo bringing us to the Tigertalk we know and love today.

Although the begging’s of Tigertalk are shrouded in mystery, we have a bit of an idea as to where our modern Tigertalk came from. We can see that year-by-year it changed and evolved with every passing of the torch. Every new editor and new writer brought his or her own spin to the paper building it up to what exists today. In around a year’s time, Tigertalk will be headed in another transition, evolving, who knows where it will go?

If you are interested in checking out a few of our older publications feel free to come to a Tigertalk meeting every other Wednesday at lunch (meetings will be on announcements)

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