Teen talk

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

It’s the annual teen issue. In some ways, it’s similar to teen issues we’ve done in the past, but in others, it’s drastically different. Anyway, we have a lot of content that’s created by people who are between 13 and 19 years old, and some other stories that we hope will interest people of that age group.

Even the overall design of the “cover package” was primarily done by a teenager— Ginger Fierstein, our production intern in Sacramento.

I’ll be perfectly honest, though. If I’d known we were going to get so many responses to our call for submissions, I’d have been a little more careful about how I phrased the request. We got responses from parents, teachers and teenagers— about as wide variety as could be imagined. Some appeared to be class assignments, which was fine, but I also had to spread the love around, and I didn’t want to give teacher-directed submissions all the ink.

The selections were made with as little regard to the “quality” of the dissertation as possible—if we made our choices based on the grammar or punctuation, in many cases, we’d be eliminating the younger people from the running. It doesn’t take a psychology degree to know the gulf between a 13 year old and a 19 year old is almost as wide as the gulf between a parent and a child.

The only submissions I dismissed out of hand were based on the standards of libel—mainly that it’s irresponsible for a newspaper to allow someone to accuse someone else of a crime or allow someone to admit to one, like drug abuse, without having a certainty of truth. I don’t much like being the one who has to pass along the idea of limitations to the First Amendment to those young people who haven’t already learned about them, but I guess that’s what happens when you open up the floor to speech.

Thanks to everyone who contributed, even if your stuff didn’t get in. We really enjoyed reading what you had to say and seeing your art.