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The Arcade

The Student News Site of North Hollywood High School

The Arcade

The Student News Site of North Hollywood High School

The Arcade

Celebrating a Legacy: The Magnitude

Celebrating+a+Legacy%3A+The+Magnitude

NHHS’s The Magnitude celebrates 20 years of publication this upcoming winter. The literary and arts magazine releases a new edition each semester featuring roughly 30 submission pieces from students throughout the school. 

Despite its long legacy, it only recently adopted an online website platform. Having been only a physical handout for the majority of its existence, copies from years ago have long been dispersed, and any saved copies remaining at school have been buried in storage boxes, lost in transition with the moving of classrooms due to the school’s modernization project. 

The Magnitude upholds a powerful standing, one that can be said to have only been rediscovered now. Editor-in-Chief Oscar Johnson-Kohler shares how he stumbled upon the news of the anniversary, stating, “I was looking through the old archives of The Magnitude’s email. I was just curious to know when the oldest email ever sent on that account was and found out that the earliest correspondence was in 2003.”

Without this sudden spark of curiosity, this discovery and the roots of The Magnitude might have been lost for an unknown amount of time. The HGM English department and Magnet Coordinator expressed how they had no slight idea about how long ago and by whom the magazine was started—thus demonstrating how the origins of the Magnitude go back to the time before current HGM staff came to work at NHHS. 

The impact of The Magnitude runs deeper than just student publication. Johnson-Kohler also said, “There was an HGM alumnus who came to visit…and he is a very accomplished person… a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer…it turns out that he was a part of The Magnitude staff during his time here as a student.” That alumnus is Stephen Stromberg, deputy opinion editor for The Washington Post. 

Stephen Stromberg (right), is an editor based in Washington, D.C. In 2022, he led his team in The Washington Post to win the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. The Pulitzer Prize (left) is the highest award in the United States given to honor sophisticated journalism, literature, and musical composition. Winners of the award are selected annually, and as of 2023, there are 23 different categories for which a winner can be selected.

Upon Stromberg’s visit, Johnson-Kohler noted an extra detail that was mentioned, “We [the class] were told that The Magnitude used to be named The Magnet-ude.” “Magnet,” is an ode to the origins of The Magnitude, The Highly Gifted Magnet. 

Being in the HGM, part of the English coursework requires students to submit their work for publication. Although many students may find this criteria challenging to fulfill, “The Magnitude is one of the easiest and friendliest places for students to publish their work,” said Johnson-Kohler. The incorporation of this publication requirement in the English classes demonstrates the importance of student voice. 

Assistant Editor-in-Chief Miriam Davison explains, “Student voice is valuable…it’s valuable to put yourself out there whether it be for a local publication or even in a national competition.” The Magnitude not only provides a convenient platform for students to submit for publication credit, but it also introduces these students to share their work beyond their interpersonal connections such as peers or teachers. 

Upon receiving submissions, the editing staff of The Magnitude works to suggest improvements for each author’s work, further empowering their literary or artistic voice. The Magnitude’s editing staff meets on Mondays at lunch in Ms. Gullo’s room R243. They review submissions and work one-on-one with each author to assist them in their writing process. 

The Spring 2023 editing staff. From top row, left-to-right: Connor Chang, Rachel Davison, Miriam Davison (Assistant Editor-in-Chief Fall 2023), Oscar Johnson-Kohler (Editor-in-Chief Fall 2023, Alexander Werth, Juno Lee*. Middle row: Andrew Lee, Suzuko Ohshima, Ume Judge-Glascock, Ayla Soto, Renee Lee, Faye Du. Bottom row: Richard Zhu*, Dana Injan, Katie Hwang, Hannah Cho (Editor-in-Chief Spring 2023)*, Sasha Murakawa, Joanne Hong (Editor-in-Chief Fall 2022)*
*Graduated senior as of Fall 2023.

After many rounds of extensive peer review and feedback, final submissions are chosen to be featured in the physical print. 

With the adoption of its own website, The Magnitude now also features an online edition, including pieces that were not selected for the print edition. 

For more information and to view these online issues, visit www.themagnitude.weebly.com.  

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    S. ChiJan 3, 2024 at 10:45 PM

    NHHS HGM Class of 1997 here. I can assure you, The Magnitude (can’t recall how we spelled it back then) 100% existed before 2003! In fact, it goes back at least as far as 1994.

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