About Us & Our History

  • 1912 - Jacket Founded
    The Jacket was founded in 1912 as the Berkeley High Weekly News by Edwin Elam, Jr. and Arthur Earll.
  • 1999 - Sex Trafficking in Berkeley
    A story by Megan Greenwell (now an editor at WIRED) published in the Jacket during her time with the paper about sex trafficking in Berkeley led to the arrest and trial of wealthy Bay Area landlord Lakireddy Bali Reddy.
  • 2000 - Journalist of the Year
    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.
  • 2010 - Gold Crown
    The Jacket was awarded the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown award in 2010.
  • 2012 - 100th Anniversary
    The Jacket celebrated its 100th anniversary since it was founded in 1912.
  • 2016 - Fresh New Layout
    In 2016, layout editors Elle McDougald and Davis O'Shea updated the Jacket's print paper with the contemporary design the Jacket uses today.
  • 2017 – Gold Medal
    The Jacket was also awarded the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Medal award in 2017.
  • 2018 – NSPA Finalist
    The Jacket was a finalist for the 2018 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Award.
  • 2019 - New Website
    In 2019, web editor Jerome Paulos updated the Jacket's website in preparation for awards.

The Jacket is the award-winning student newspaper of Berkeley High School in California. The paper is published every other Friday, and includes five sections that cover local events at the high school and current issues in the world. The staff of The Jacket includes more than one hundred student editors, reporters, photographers, and columnists, 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. Many of the current editorial board are pictured on the Staff page. The name of the paper is taken from Berkeley High School’s mascot, the yellowjacket.

The Jacket is a recipient of numerous awards including ones from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association; They have been awarded a Gold Crown Award in 2010, a Silver Crown Award in 2017 and 2018, and a Gold Medal in 2017. In addition, they were a finalist for the 2018 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Award.

1x Gold Crown
1x Gold Medalist
5x Silver Crown

Journalists of the Year

2x Pacemaker Award
1x Pacemaker Finalist
1x Story of the Year

When The Jacket first started in 1912, it was called The Berkeley High School Weekly News. The earliest surviving copy of The Weekly News is from October 7, 1912, and can be read online here. Many pre-1950 copies of The Jacket are available at the reference desk of the Downtown Berkeley Public Library.

Edwin Madison Elam, Jr. was The Weekly News‘s founder and first editor in 1912, when he attended Berkeley High School in the class of 1913. He went on to attend the University of California at Berkeley, and graduated in 1917. During his time at UC Berkeley, he worked at The Daily Californian, was a member of the debate club, and on the staff of the Blue & Gold yearbook. Sadly, he was killed in action at the Forest of Argonne during World War I on October 11, 1918. Above are pictures of the 1912-1914 staff of The Weekly News.

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We need to ask for your support for our amazing newspaper. We’re one of the premier student newspapers in the nation. In our 107-year history we’ve continuously pushed for excellence in journalism and education.

The most remarkable fact is this: the Jacket is entirely student-operated and is produced by a dedicated staff of over one hundred student editors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and designers on a very limited budget every week.