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FlipSide is 30.

Wait — FlipSide is 30?

Launched in 1991 as a monthly magazine delivered directly to schools, FlipSide has expanded over the years into a full-fledged program that now includes a bi-weekly page in the Gazette-Mail, website content and a social media presence.

Teens have always shaped its content and direction, beginning with the ones who mocked the original name — Scoop — but then brainstormed until they came up with FlipSide. Those teens set a precedent of student input and involvement that continues in 2021, with students writing, taking photographs, creating illustrations, suggesting story ideas and participating in interviews for articles.

The result? A strong tradition of content marked by depth and complexity. FlipSiders have written honestly and eloquently about substance abuse, eating disorders, suicide, sexuality, depression, domestic violence, racism and many other issues. They have explored politics and religion. They have debated everything from animal rights to the right to bear arms. And, of course, they have thoroughly dissected subjects such as prom, homecoming, graduation, sports, academia, fashion, music and pop culture.

FlipSide may indeed be 30, but it always will be the source of all things teen in West Virginia.

Marina Hendricks, Ph.D., the founding editor of FlipSide,

is an assistant professor of journalism at South Dakota State University.

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