The Jacket is the student newspaper serving the roughly three thousand students of Berkeley High School, California. The paper is published every other Friday and is usually sixteen pages long, with only the front, back, and two middle pages in color. There are five sections in the paper: news, opinion, features, entertainment, and sports. The staff of the Jacket includes more than one hundred student editors, reporters, photographers, and videographers as well as one faculty advisor. The Jacket’s editorial board is composed of about twenty-five students who are elected by the previous year’s senior editors. The name of the paper is taken from the mascot of Berkeley High School, the Yellowjacket. From around the mid-1950s into the early 1960s, the paper was a daily, printed by students in the school’s own print shop. Most issues at that time were one-sheets, that is, two-sided, 8½ x 11 inch pages.
In the late 1990s, the paper gained widespread prominence after reporters Megan Greenwell and Iliana Montauk broke a story in Berkeley that resulted in criminal prosecution. The Jacket first reported that local business-owner Lakireddy Bali Reddy and his family were importing young women from India to work as sex slaves after one such woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Berkeley apartment complex.
In 2000, the Jacket staff was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, becoming the first-ever non-professional winner of the SPJ’s highest honor.
Berkeley High School’s The Jacket Online is among 10 high school newspaper websites to win the 2010 Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown Award. Regarded as the CSPA’s highest honor in high school journalism