McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger


Launched in 2019, The McHenry Messenger is the student-run and student-edited school newspaper at McHenry High School in McHenry, Illinois.

Student journalists have the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in high school media. The McHenry Messenger benefits from these rights. We hope to use this platform to inform and engage the students and staff of McHenry High School as well as its broader community. 

As a student-driven publication, it is important to us that we represent every group within both campuses as well as the broader McHenry community, providing a platform for them to speak their truths. We intend to provide access to objective, relevant information that they need to know.

As an open forum for student expression, the McHenry Messenger hopes to maintain editorial independence from that which we cover while continuing to foster connections to the community.

As we strive to fulfill our journalistic mission, we recognize that learning and growing through our experiences as reporters, writers and editors is a core aspect of what makes this a student publication. When we make mistakes, our organization is prepared to take responsibility for the stories we publish and hold ourselves accountable.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Issuu. You can also meet this year’s staff and check out how outside organizations have recognized our work.

Have questions about The McHenry Messenger and Newspaper as a co-curricular activity at MCHS? Pease email newspaper advisor Dane Erbach.


Letters to the Editor and Outside Submissions

Part of the McHenry Messenger’s mission is to represent our school at large. To that ends, we encourage any member of the McHenry High School community to submit to the Messenger in one of the following ways:

     • In a letter to the editor providing an opinion or reaction to any stories published by the Messenger

     • In a feature or op-ed about a newsworthy subject

All submissions will be held to the same standards as the Messenger’s writing staff. Editors reserve the right to select stories based on newsworthiness and/or need. Editors reserve the right to edit, reword, or paraphrase approved stories for the sake of clarity or length. As this is a student newspaper, views outside of the student body may face a higher bar for acceptance.

Editors also reserve the right to reject stories that are uninformed, unbalanced, hateful, or obscene as well as those that invade privacy, violate federal or state law, incites students to commit an unlawful act, or violate policies of the school district, or disrupt the orderly operation of the school.

To submit a letter to the editor or pitch a story, start by contacting the Messenger’s advisor Dane Erbach.


Comment Policy

The McHenry Messenger intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussions. Comments both on our website and social media must leave a door open for discussion and cannot include any attacks on the writer, subject or commentators of the writing, but may include constructive criticism. Along with this, no profanity will be tolerated whatsoever. 

All McHenry Messenger comments will be reviewed by a moderator prior to being publicly posted. The McHenry Messenger does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid or verified email address and/or account information. The email address and/or account information will not be displayed but will be used to confirm any comments.


Put Up Policy

Before it is published by the McHenry Messenger, all stories undergo a thorough editorial process to ensure the publication contains consistent, reliable and accurate content in a consistent journalistic voice:

     • Stories are filed by staff writers or contributors

     • Section editors review stories, check facts, offer feedback and make changes as needed

     • Staff writers make and approve changes

     • Copy editors review stories and make changes as needed

     • Managing editors select articles for publication, review stories, check facts and make changes as needed

     • Editor-in-chief reviews stories, check facts and makes changes as needed before publication

Articles and media published by the McHenry Messenger must provide accurate, truthful, and unbiased coverage and provide clarity to all potential readers. Information must be clearly attributed to original sources used by the writer and strive to represent all people, groups, organizations, etc. involved in the story. Writers must avoid conflicts on interest when reporting and base their writing around ethical journalism practices. Writers also must select sources carefully based on relevance and reliability. Anonymity will be granted to sources only when they require special protection in order to minimize harm. 

The McHenry Messenger is dedicated to minimizing harm to both our writers and readers and will not allow any content that expresses racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any other kind of prejudice to be published.


Take Down Policy

Following our First Amendment rights, the McHenry Messenger will not take down articles or media from our website unless it infringes upon one’s rights or personal privacy, or causes undue harm. 

As an organization, we will carefully consider any and all request before taking down an article, however articles that follow the Messenger’s put-up policy guidelines may not be removed. As a publication, we see it as our job to uphold the Society of Professional Journalists’s Code of Ethics and will make decisions using these professional standards. 

If the Messenger publishes any incorrect information, the article will not be taken down; rather the edited version of the article will be reposted with a correction statement.


Media Sharing Policy

The McHenry Messenger allows` the community to save and share any media we post publicly on our website or social media pages (by right clicking on the image and clicking “Save Image As”). Raw media or any media that is not posted publicly will be kept private by the Messenger, and we can not guarantee that any requested pictures or videos may be sent to the parties requesting them. If The McHenry Messenger is requested to photograph an event, for example, we reserve rights to any pictures taken at said event and can use them as we see fit. The McHenry Messenger is not a free resource for photography / videography and is not required to share any media that we take as the copyright holders.