The Jet Stream has been in print for 50 years, since 1968. Although the atmosphere at AC has been fairly consistent, a lot has changed in in the area of the student newspaper.
The early volumes of the Jet Stream were printed on news print. It was written by AC students and likely printed by one of the local newspapers. The articles were typed on old manual typewriters and taped together to create the layout of the newspaper. The pictures were shot with film cameras and developed in a dark room here at the school. If you look at the sign over Mrs. Beer’s closet, you will see the old “dark room” sign. Once developed, prints would need to be enlarged and printed for publication.
At this time a pub room would have 4-5 typewriters at a table along the wall. It would have a dark room for pictures. A layout station would be littered with exacto knives, tape, glue, light table, cutting board, scalograph, grease pencil and grid board. It would likely have stock border designs to frame stories.
The Jet Stream functioned that way for about 15 years. In the late 1970’s copier quality improved to the point to where AC could start printing “in house”, and the Jet Stream took on the shape and size you are familiar with today. Past editors still remember a mix of agony and relief as they stood over the copy machine scanning all the pages. They were still limited by no computer technology, so most cover were hand drawn and headlines were written with a sharpie.
Jet Stream staffs continued to physically “cut and paste” articles and pictures through the 80’s and 90’s and scan the print to a copy machine. Early digital cameras showed up in the late 90’s with poor picture quality and clunky file sharing. “New” Sony cameras that boasted 1.3 megapixels cost the newspaper staff $800-$1000. The first computer shows up in 1984, but it would be almost 20 years before graphics and programs would be useful for publications.
Not until about 2000 did Adobe make a major contribution to publishing when they launched Photoshop and In-Design. For the first time, the newspaper staff could create the stories and place the pictures on a digital layout. This new genesis in printing still had it’s draw backs. Students were able to write their stories and place pictures, but if they published multiple stories on the same page, they have have to take turns at the computer and work together to fit it all together. After all the individual pages were complete, all the files were saved on a flash drive and given to the editor to put together.
The pub room also changed during this time. A small room where the library computer lab is currently located, contained 6 desktop computers and its own copy machine to produce the Jet Stream. The dark room was replaced by a memory card reader and a scanner. The room was often dark and music often playing. Jet Streams were being pumped out on a bi-weekly basis, with sporadic specialty issues for Christmas or Prom.
Finally, the print job would be sent to the printer and the staff would gather together and fold and collate all 500 copies for distribution. Think paper cuts and ragged tempers as the birth of each issue was a traumatic experience.
One last change occurred in the history of printing the Jet Stream. In the fall of 2010 AC started New Tech and each student had a laptop at their disposal. Over the course of the next 2 years, the Jet Stream was created on Pages and printed from Mr. Anderson’s computer in 1 complete print job that was stapled and collated by the copy machine. Initially, Jet Streams were distributed to all classes during SAP every other Friday. After picking up hundreds of unread Jet Streams on the floor, we shifted to distributing during lunch and printing considerably less papers.
Now, the Jet Stream is changing with the times once more. We printed our last Jet Stream in November of 2016. The new Jet Stream will be offered online with this link on the school website and the goal is to update the news feed several times a week. This will give us a chance to publish timely AC news and take advantage of color photography. Be patient with us as we find a new rhythm to publishing the Jet Stream