Checking In with an NAEye Alumni



Andrew McLaughlin in the offices of the NASH Uproar, where he serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief.

Addison Shepard, Staff Writer

Senior Andrew McLaughlin has loved writing since he was in elementary school, even going so far as to start a school newspaper at Carson. Now in his senior year, the prolific writer reflects on his favorite journalism moments throughout his high school career.

McLaughlin started his journey in journalism in sixth grade, writing stories for the CMS newspaper. “I’ve always enjoyed writing, especially about things I’m passionate about,” he said when asked why he started writing for CMS. “The middle school newspaper gave me the ability to write about whatever I wanted, and my first article was about Epcot at Walt Disney World.”

Now a much more experienced writer, McLaughlin says his favorite articles to write deal with local history, a subject he is very passionate about. “I wrote an article about an amusement park that closed, and that article was special because it got the biggest response of an article I’ve ever written.”  Another favorite of his deals with NA’s past. “Last year, I wrote an article on the history of NASH.”

McLaughlin has also written multiple stories that won him the Best of SNO award, which is given out to excellent school newspaper stories. “It’s definitely exciting when you get [Best of SNO for] the first time,” he says. But soon he discovered the formula for crafting these stories and the excitement died down. He lists political articles, long articles, and articles about positive people in the community as stories likely to be chosen for Best of SNO. “[It has to be] applicable to different schools, not just North Allegheny.”

I’m always into people who cover things that might get overlooked.

— Andrew McLaughlin

McLaughlin also recognizes how being an active reader makes you a better writer. “I’m always into people who cover things that might get overlooked,” McLaughlin said when asked about standout articles written by others. “One person wrote an article last year about clubs that have gotten canceled over the years because of lack of membership, and I thought that was interesting. Even though they’re interesting subjects, they get shut down because there’s not enough members in them.”

Although writing is one of his favorite pastimes, he has decided not to pursue this as a career. “The way journalism is in the career field, it’s very hard to find stable work, especially with the way newspapers are now,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed writing as a hobby more than anything. I hope to go into a career with either a museum or a city planning agency, but writing is a useful tool for any career.”

McLaughlin is now approaching his final semester at North Allegheny, and leaving a great legacy behind. He has written stories for NA for many years, and hopes that others with an interest in writing will do the same. “I would encourage any kids who are writing for NAEye now, or who enjoy reading NAEye, to join the Uproar,” he says.