December 2, 2023


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Colton High School’s Pepper Bough garners over 20,000 page views in four weeks

2 min read

Freshman Journalist Dianna Loera interviews student leaders on Aug. 5 during CHS’s collaboration with Slover Mountain High school in preparation of the CJUSD Leadership Summit on Aug. 20.

At this point, much of the Colton community has heard of the high school’s student news publication, Pepper Bough. 

With numerous stories getting picked up by NewsBreak and trending stories, it’s no wonder that the publication has garnered 20,000 views in the first four weeks of the 2022-2023 school year. 

“Our biggest story this school year is about a herd of goats that broke free and decided to raise havoc at Smith Elementary in Bloomington. It’s an extremely novel human interest story, and I thought our Staff Writer Tyler Morales’s headline was super creative,” said Advisor Jeremiah Dollins.

Dollins’s headline is “Smith Elementary rejects a herd of ‘kids,” and it’s worth a read; it details goats headbutting each other and even mating in front of vehicles.

Junior Journalist Natalie Solis interviews CJUSD Communications Specialist Lynette White on Aug. 23 for an article about the district’s upcoming podcast.

Another great additive of the student-led news publication is the expansion of news coverage, generating a series of sports writers.

“Colton High School’s sports are very popular, so this school year, we’re contracting our writers with the various sports teams on campus. We’re covering everything from tennis to football, basketball and everything in between,” continued Dollins.

During the 2021-2022 school year, Dollins said the Pepper Bough garnered over 150,000 views on its website, landing its first of many advertisements. 

“Last school year, we garnered more page views than the publication garnered in the previous decade. The student’s success has led us to place our first advertisement this semester, and I encourage businesses, organizations, and agencies to look into placing an ad with us. I want to be clear that this is not a charity, we are a well-organized news publication, and our website has many eyeballs on it,” concluded Dollins. 

Another standout attribute of the Pepper Bough is its quick news turnaround. For example, the high school held its first pep rally on August 26th, and two hours after it ended – a story covering the event was already published online, making it an excellent resource for parents to keep up with campus news and activities. 

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