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Friday, February 24, 2006

Coming soon: Islands of Paradise

Gozo castle, Malta
Picture by Maressa Zahra

Here in Connecticut, one of the last truly cold spells of winter is rapidly descending upon us from somewhere up in the Arctic, so it seems a good time to take The Tattoo off to more pleasant locales. Watch for our new issue Monday when Tattoo writer Maressa Zahra will bring readers to Malta while Tattoo writers Kathryn Middleton and Sean Soltys head to Hawaii.
Yes, it's all fun in the sun, which beats the heck out of snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mourning Atwar Bahjat

Gunmen have shot a 30-year-old television journalist and two technicians from Dubai-based Al-Arabiya outside the troubled Iraqi city of Samarra.
Reporter Atwar Bahjat, cameraman Khaled Mahmud al-Falahi and soundman Adnan Khairallah were on the scene to try to cover the blowing up of a Shiite mosque when their van was stopped and the journalists taken away. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found a little later.
"The hand of treason in Iraq has silenced a media voice that was simply carrying out its professional mission," said a statement by the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya, according to Agence France-Presse.
The news service reported that a former colleague, Abdel Azim Mohammed, said, "She is a true professional and the first on the scene of an event. She went to Samarra, where many men refused to venture."
When will the world recognize that reporters are not the enemy?

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Halls of Shame, Part 4

Jan. 20th Macomb Daily photo by Craig Gaffield
Lake Shore High School students Christina Cantrall, left, and Kim Trombley before attending a Lake Shore Public Schools Board of Education meeting to discuss censorship and board policy concerning the school newspaper, The Shoreline.

For years, the student newspaper at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores, Mich. has had an open policy of printing what students want.
But maybe not much longer.
District Superintendent Brian Annable is trying to "tidy up" a problem he mysteriously discovered after the paper printed a contoversial column about teen sex last May. It seems the paper shouldn't have an open door, he said, because that's never been the district's formal policy.
Kim Trombley, an 18-year-old senior and co-editor of the Shoreline, told The Detroit News the administration is "trying to change our editorial policy so that it ultimately has editorial control." Annable pretty much admitted just that.
He told the paper, "The kids are great and they have done a great job over the years with the newspaper. The bottom line is, it's a practice vehicle as opposed to what people normally define as a newspaper."
A practice vehicle?
So that weasely superintendents can dictate stories instead of budding journalists?
We don't think so.
But a story in The Macomb Daily makes it a little more clear why the superintendent suddenly cares.
It quotes school board President Gerrit Ketelhut dismissing the students' First Amendment argument.
"The press always likes to use freedom of speech," he said.
"We're upholding what we think is right for our kids," Ketelhut said. "We're elected here and have to uphold our policy."
He went on to castigate the teen sex column as "trash."
"That's not journalism," he said. "Make no mistake, journalism is fair and honest reporting."
Here's some fair, honest reporting for you, Mr. Ketelhut.
You've earned yourself a treasured spot in our Halls of Shame as one of the bigger jackasses in education today. Congratulations.
And kudos to the kids who are fighting this idiocy. Don't let them trample your rights.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

First new issue of 2006 available now

Wait a minute... these are Tattoo photos? Well, yes. It seems that The Tattoo's long-standing photography curse has lifted. We have wonderful shutterbugs all over the world now, including Nimh Ni Mhaoileoin in Ireland, who took these shots at a recent concert in Dublin. Pretty cool, eh? And there are more great photos coming.
This issue also has Rachel Globowski's first printed piece for us, a news story about an innovative teen day in West Hartford, Conn., and a news piece by Molly Horan about some English students who are traveling from the original Bristol to Connecticut's Bristol.
In addition, there's a fine column by Elizabeth Walle about getting that awful "thin envelope" from the college of choice and another stellar Justin Skaradosky cartoon.
It's a pretty good start for the new year -- and our 29th issue of this academic year.
By the way, we've now got 148 issues of The Tattoo in print, most of them available as PDFs on our web site. Just about every published piece is also on the web site (and the rest will be one of these days!) along with a great deal that went online only.
The Tattoo doesn't just offer the best teen journalism in the world. It also offers a whole lot of it!
Now get off this stupid blog and go read the real thing --

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Connecticut web site of note

The Tattoo's web site -- -- is now one of seven "Connecticut Web Sites of Note" on the extensive Connecticut Blogs page that Tom Fausel has created. Take a look at the list on the right side of Tom's page.
Here's his site: Connecticut Weblogs.

Our official policy: We hate blogs.
Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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