The Southfield Jay Changes Its Name
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This is the final printed edition of The Southfield Jay.
The 63-year-old paper is changing its name from The Southfield Jay to The Southfield Times because Southfield High is merging with Southfield-Lathrup High School and the school mascot is changing from the Blue Jay to the Warriors. So the Jay name no longer fits.
“Our new name is a sign of the times; we are becoming a new school,” said Southfield Jay Adviser Diane Hofsess.
The present Southfield Jay news staff voted on the future name of the newspaper and came to a decision of The Southfield Times. Southfield-Lathrup High School did not have a printed paper in the 2015-2016 school year, so there were no newspaper staff members at the merging school to consult about the name change.
Former Jay Editor-in-Chief Katherine Nealy said, ‘It does break my heart a little bit to hear that The Southfield Jay’s name is changing. Although the name change will be sad, I am 100 percent confident that the name change will not affect the paper’s success and legendary quality.”
“It’s a little sad in a way to know that it won’t be known by that name anymore,” said former Jay Sports Editor James Andersen, who is now the sports editor for The Alpena News. “For years, The Jay has made a name for itself with many national and state journalism awards, and I really think it’s been a source of pride within the school; a fine example of hard work, and I would hope anyone else that worked on the paper feels the same way. Hopefully with one door closing, another will open and the Southfield times can pick up right where The Jay will leave off and carve out a ne legacy of success.”
Besides Andersen, The Southfield Jay has spawned the journalism careers of many students:
- Former Jay staff writer Robert Shiller is a columnist for The New York Times and won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2013.
- Christina Hardy is the executive assistant to the vice-president and general manager of WDIV-TV in Detroit.
- Kristen McKissic Pierce is a news reporter at WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
- Rae Larkins is a TV personality for BRC-TV News 13 in Pennsylvania.
- Emanuel Johnson was the first black editor in chief of the student newspaper at Grand Valley State University.
Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver, who advised The Southfield Jay decades ago, said, “The merger was long overdue.” He said he also hopes the school traditions will be kept despite the merge.
The Southfield Jay was one of the first high school publications in the country to have an online news website. It was created from scratch by former Jay staff member Daniel McMaster in 1997.
Many other newspapers have changed their names over the years. In Charleston, South Carolina, The Gazette newspaper and Daily Mail became the Gazette-Mail. And in Hawaii, Hawaii’s two largest newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin merged to become the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.