Students launch their own publication

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

Area high school and college students say they are &8220;2 Cool 2 B Bad&8221; and they will soon have a quarterly magazine to prove it.

The Fresh Start Selma Youth Development Center, in conjunction with Auburn University’s journalism department, is planning to launch 2 Cool 2 B Bad The Magazine, The publication will be fully staffed by students who are interested in pursuing careers in journalism and publishing.

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Tracy Tisdale, administrative coordinator of the Youth Development Center, said there is no other program in Selma that comes close to 2 Cool 2B Bad and is pleased to provide an artistic outlet for students.

Merritt said the publication will address issues that are important to the youth community in Selma.

The magazine will host a variety of subjects ranging from the influences of hip-hop music to religion.

In recent years, newspaper and magazine readership amongst young readers has steadily dwindled, the result of a massive technology boom. Merritt said the majority of today’s youth rely on MTV and BET as their only source of media exposure. Merritt believes creating a youth medium in Selma will boost readership if the magazine mirrors their lives and their thoughts.

The magazine program has proven to be successful in North Carolina where for the past 17 years journalism students at North Carolina A & T State University have mentored and guided students through writing, editing, graphic design, photography and advertising. There the magazine publishes 100,000 copies quarterly and is distributed to school classrooms and area churches.

Funds received from advertising sales will offset the cost of operation and provide scholarships for students who seriously want to pursue journalism in college.

The same process will occur in Selma with help from journalism students at Auburn.

As the deadline for the publication date nears, the students will travel to Auburn and use the university’s software to design the magazine.

Students from area public and private schools as well as colleges will be selected as editors, publishers, photographers, designers and reporters. Merritt says it is important for the staff to be diverse in order to reflect the diversity of the community.

Merritt has talked with school superintendents about the program and said he is currently working on making presentations to various school English departments concerning the magazine and hopes local media will get involved in mentoring students as well.

Merritt invites people to call the Youth Development Center at 872-0425 if they are interested in being a staff member or submit an e-mail to .