In 1915 the first issue of The Franklin Post went to press. Since then, 106 years of history have been made. Originally, The Franklin Post was a pamphlet that produced issues monthly and followed a theme that matched each season. Over time it evolved into what it looks like today, with many more changes than just its appearance.
In the early editions, the content was quite simple. Each issue contained only a few sections, a couple of poems, and a large number of jokes. By the time the fifties rolled around, The Post had already taken on the classic newspaper look which consisted of about eight pages; today, The Post has an average of 20 pages per issue.
One of the major changes throughout the years has been the number of staff members, which is particularly interesting because it has fluctuated greatly between decades. Carol Blair, who graduated in 1954, said there were 38 people on the staff. Bob Mullins, a Franklin Post member of the class of 1972, says there were somewhere around 50 staff members. John Gallucci, another Franklin Post alumni, says during his time on The Post in the early nineties there was a staff of only about 12 people. Currently, our staff consists of 36 people.
Student leadership has stayed consistent throughout the many years of The Post. There are three leadership roles that have been here since the beginning: Editor-in-Chief, Feature Editor, and Sports Editor. Gallucci, who was the Feature Editor from 1991 to 1992, says all it took for him to snag that position was a simple assignment, and an even more simple agreement to take the position. “As an editor, we had to do the page layout [and] edit stories that were turned in for length and content,” which is still an accurate description of the position. “It was more responsibility, but I enjoyed it,” he says. Mullins was elected into the position of Sports Editor for the first half of the 1971 to 1972 school year. “It was a position that I hoped to have from the moment I showed up for Beginning Journalism, as a sophomore,” he says. Now, the process of receiving a leadership role consists of an application process, complete with an interview conducted by the Editors-in-Chief and the faculty advisor of The Post.
In the fifties, there were many positions; two Co-Editors; Feature, News, and Sports Editors; a Business Manager; Copy Editor; Club Columnist; Alumni Columnist; Circulation Manager; Mailing Managers; and an Advertising Manager. Alongside those roles, there were five typists who did the typing of the articles and sent them into the printers. “Fortunately one of our staff had a car so we were able to make the almost daily trips to submit our articles, get a copy back for review and then mock up the pages and write our headlines before final approval for print,” Blair explains. They published weekly and produced 38 issues in one year. Publishing weekly was something quite different than the years prior.
When The Post was more like a book than a newspaper, each section was divided by a cover page with a drawing. Alongside the artwork came jokes, some being funny, some being disturbing. The literary section, which included most of the drawings and some poems, was added pretty early on; however, it was not one of the original sections.
With time, The Post has changed its strategies when it comes to what stories are written and published. Slowly writers began to have autonomy when it came to what stories they wrote. In the early seventies, section editors would collaborate with the rest of the staff and assign stories they wanted to be written for their section. In the nineties, someone would volunteer to write a story, but while everyone got to pitch, editors ultimately had the say in what stories were done. Now, at the beginning of pitch meetings, editors give out story ideas that they would like to have in their section, and then writers can either use those ideas or pitch their own.
During Gallucci’s time as a member, The Post was taking a reporting approach. Gallucci got to go to Niketown to see and interview Bo Jackson. He was assigned to pull a student out of class whose father had been involved in a scandal to interview him on the matter. They even had stickers on the back of their student ID cards that would allow them to leave class and in Gallucci’s words, walk around to do journalism things.
This research made me realize just how far The Franklin Post has come and makes me excited for how it might change in the future. The Franklin Post archives can be found and read at fhspost.com.