NeXt, The Buffalo News' youth section that began publication in 1995, published its last issue Thursday with a farewell "Thanks for the Memories" page of several current and former NeXt teen correspondents offering their thoughts on what NeXt has meant to them.
The section, under editor Susan LoTempio, began as a 12-page tabloid aimed at teens with some pages devoted to content for younger kids. The section was designed first by News designer Terry Lew and then by Christina Visco, and the articles were a mix of work by News staffers and teen correspondents recruited from area high schools.
NeXt won awards for content and design in several competitions of the once-thriving Youth Editors Association, and many former correspondents have gone on to distinguish themselves in journalism and other fields.
After the final edition of NeXt was published Thursday, many former NeXt correspondents shared memories of writing for NeXt on social media.
#tbt: Today, @thebuffalonews' teen-written NeXt section -- my first paid journalism gig -- ceases publication. I was still writing (awful) poetry and thought I wanted to be a lawyer when my mom pushed me to apply to write for NeXt at the end of eighth grade ... so, yeah, I'd say the experience was just a little bit important in my life. My editor, Jean, encouraged my ideas, suggested the perfect assignments for me and generally treated me like I was legit when I most definitely wasn't (but was learning to be). I have a binder stuffed with print copies of each of my stories from those years (thank god my writing has improved), but here are a few photos: Gavin DeGraw and me backstage at Kissmass Bash, shadowing @bghayden at St. Joe's, Warped Tour and a local battle of the bands.
I'm disappointed to see @TheBuffaloNews is doing away with the NeXt section, where I got my start in journalism at 15. Among the pieces I did: talking with @BarackObama's press secretary @billburton, writing about @cityhonors dodgeball club and summer in #Buffalo. I owe it a lot.
— Melissa Burgess (@_MelissaBurgess) May 15, 2018
Writing for @TheBuffaloNews’ NeXt section as a teen, and later as a freelancer, was what started & fueled my love of journalism. Although they may be necessary, these changes make my heart ache. Grateful for people like @JWestmoore.
— Molly Hirschbeck Acton (@MollyHirschbeck) May 15, 2018
Truly the end of an era. @TheBuffaloNews's NeXt section, which ended publication yesterday, was my first experience writing for publication, my first time ever seeing my byline in print. I'll always be grateful for that experience. 🗞🖋 pic.twitter.com/lAjTs694Ta
— Matt Biddle (@matthew_biddle) May 18, 2018
— Woody (@WoodEBrown) May 17, 2018
Today marks the closing of the neXt section of @TheBuffaloNews , a section written by and for teens. NeXt gave me my start in journalism 17 years ago. I will never forget it, nor my editor @JWestmoore https://t.co/QbcVwPhHam
— DevBSirius (@DevBSirius) May 17, 2018
Today, the @TheBuffaloNews published its last edition of "NeXt," the youth section of the paper—written by high schoolers, for high schoolers. NeXt helped instill in me a love of journalism; I'm so incredibly thankful for it. We need more programs like this, not fewer. pic.twitter.com/k1jNg5kM23
— Allison Eck (@allisonceck) May 17, 2018
Saddened that it's over but forever thankful to be a part of @NeXtbuffnews... Great memories and great people!
— The Professor (@theprofnt) May 17, 2018
Thoday marks a sad day.... The last time I'll ever be able to read others work of art. I am very happy I had the opportunity to be published from this amazing crew of writers and get the 1st hand experience of what a journalist does for a living. I had learned a lot during my senior year of high school when I was a writer for the Next (I even had 1 article published while I was in college.) I will truly miss the Buffalo News NeXt Section. 05/17/2018 . . . #buffalonews #buffalonewsnextsection #nextsection #journalist #writers #editors #awesome #crew #restinpeace #willbemissed #greatbeginnings #teenagers
If you have fond memories of reading or writing for the NeXt section, share your memories in the comment section.