EIGHTEEN

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Waiting to hear from Principal Yanick was like standing next to a live bomb – we knew the explosion was coming, we just didn't know when to actually expect it.

     Ronnie and I had decided our best plan of action was to organize an emergency meeting and get as much of the staff in the loop as we possibly could. The email we had sent out didn't explain much about; it just said that, due to a tense relationship with the school administration, the future of Warrior Weekly was uncertain. And it inarguably was. The best-case scenario – and the least likely – was that Yanick wouldn't give it a second thought and would just let us keep the article up. The worst-case, and the more likely, was that she would shut the entire paper down indefinitely.

      For this meeting, which Ronnie and I decided to call during lunch to make sure as many people as possible could make it, both Ronnie and I chose to stand at the front of the room.

     "Thanks for coming, everyone," I said. Most of the faces at this point were familiar and regularly returning, with a few that looked vaguely familiar but had only come to meetings sporadically throughout the weeks.

     "We know this isn't ideal, so we'll keep it short," Ronnie said and inhaled, looking out over the students who all had curious, somewhat concerned looks on their faces. "We're not sure how long the Warrior is going to be able to keep operating. Principal Yanick has refused to let us continuing publishing about Nudegate in the way that we find is most balanced, which is leading to tension. Since we are a high school newspaper at the mercy of the administration, there is little we can do to fight against this. We haven't heard from her yet, but we're fairly certain that she has seen the post online and action will be taken. It will most harshly fall on Eden and I, although we recognize that the risk of the newspaper getting shut down impacts all of you."

     Jeremy looked at us. "Wait, so because news wants to talk about Nudegate we all have to be kicked off staff?"

     "We don't know what's going to happen," I said. "And we're going to do everything we can to make sure Warrior Weekly can continue on."

     "But we do know that we believed Nudegate was significant enough to push the boundaries," Ronnie added. "We don't want for there to be casualties, but I also don't feel right continuing on with a newspaper that doesn't actually report the news."

     Jeremy shook his head against, leaning forward in his seat. "But is the story really important enough to justify getting the entire newspaper down? What are the rest of us supposed to do? Sports has nothing to do with Nudegate, and neither does the art and culture section. Why is news the priority here?"

     Kolton turned to him. "We're not prioritizing news, we're prioritizing the ability to cover school events without student voices being edited out."

     It seemed like Ronnie's conversation with Kolton had gone well. Kolton understood where Ronnie was coming from, probably rooting from the fact that he wanted to be on a newspaper for a reason. It wasn't so he could distribute short, uninformative articles that the school had written.

     "This isn't about a story, it's about the bigger picture," Ronnie said.

     "It sure feels like it's about a story," Jeremy said. "And, look, I get that Nudegate is important to cover. This is a huge story and we should write about it and shouldn't be limited, but I don't really want to lose my position as an editor over it. I love doing this."

     Ronnie looked down at her feet, shifting her weight. "We're going to do everything that we can to protect this paper."

     "And we're not totally sure what's going to happen next," I chimed in, hoping to ease the rapidly building tension. "Once we hear from Yanick we'll actually have a plan of action, but for now we just wanted you to be prepared."

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