Introducing: The Next Question
Meet Caspar ‘22 and Nate ‘22, Far Hills students with a passion for journalism. Two years ago, as fourth-graders, Caspar and Nate began—just for fun—a digital magazine they dubbed, The Next Question. Their magazine included puzzles, a book review, student surveys on various topics, and short articles about happenings at Far Hills. Their writing caught the attention of teachers and administrators, who were impressed by the boys’ consistent efforts and wanted to help them grow.
Fast-forward to September 2019: Caspar and Nate are still at it—and as passionate as ever! They now have a teacher advisor and just recently made a presentation to invite other interested Upper School students to join them. “We want to make our magazine bigger and get ideas for articles that other students will enjoy, instead of just what Nate and I think is interesting. This way we’ll have more diversity,” Caspar explained. The response was immediate: The Next Question now boasts a staff of ten reporters—five covering Kestrel House (5th and 6th), four covering Peregrine House (7th and 8th), and a “cub” reporter—Caspar’s brother, Konrad, covering Lower School.
The suggestion to include a reporter for the Lower School was intentional. “We want this to be something that keeps on going,” explains Caspar. “We want to leave a legacy. My parents suggested that if Nate and I really want the magazine to live on after we’re gone, we have to foster other students now and teach them.” Members of The Next Question now hold “pitch” meetings for each issue, as real magazines do; then, Nate and Caspar assign articles and set deadlines.
But it wasn’t always this way. The two friends recently reminisced about how they got started. Caspar wanted to do a fun project with Nate and suggested either a book or a magazine. Nate chose a magazine--and the rest, as they say, is history. They printed their first issue and distributed it only to their class. “We brought it out to recess, too,” Nate recalled. Both laughingly admit that they were complete rookies at the time. “Our writing was so bad,” says Nate. Caspar adds, “We were so amateurish. The paper had tons of spelling and grammar mistakes. We wrote the whole magazine in a day, and it never got edited. I remember putting a note in one article that said, ‘We’re in room 52, but it might be 53,’ and we just printed it that way!”
Now, in true 21st-century style, The Next Question is a digital publication complete with embedded photos and videos distributed via Google Drive to the entire Upper School, Administrators, Faculty, and Staff. Nate and Caspar feel good about that. Says Nate, “It’s definitely better electronically, because, think about it: If there are eight pages in an issue and we only printed it for fifty students, that’s hundreds of pages of paper that we’re saving right there. Our magazine goes to a lot more people than that.”
Future plans include printing just a few copies of the latest issue and making them available at School entrances so visitors can enjoy the magazine, and perhaps, in time, expanding their reporting efforts into a short, daily broadcast for all of the Far Hills community to enjoy.
Stay tuned as The Next Question Magazine continues to evolve—envisioned and led by Far Hills students!