FLOWER MOUND, Texas — As she sat in virtual classrooms, stuck in her home as the pandemic worsened in May 2020, Advika Rajeev was just looking for a way to make sense of it all.
“The pandemic was happening,” said Rajeev. “There was a lot of misinformation going around, especially among Gen Z.”
So, the Flower Mound High School sophomore, who loves writing and was already working toward publishing her first book, decided to put the passion toward a new use: cutting through the misinformation circling her age group.
Rajeev brought her sisters Niharika and Mihika in on her project and together they began fact finding, sorting through the rumors and trying to put the pandemic into words and terms that teens and kids could better understand. Thoughts coming together, they decided it was time to put that information out there.
“We wanted to give a platform where we gave our news, what we know is true,” said Rajeev.
Just like that, The Thinker’s Chronicle was born.
The sisters created a web-based newspaper filled with their articles on the pandemic and other current events. They said they carefully fact checked and copy edited everything to give their publication the high quality they felt was required from it during that strange time.
Soon - as one edition became two, then three, then four - more young writers in the area started to notice the Chronicle and wanted to become a part of it. Anagha Ramesh, also a student in the Lewisville ISD who attends Marcus High School, came on the staff as a writer, and so did Coppell-New Tech High student Sanya Pillai.
Rajeev said the traction only kept growing as their articles expanded to topics beyond the pandemic. They started covering everything from abortion rights to the Britney Spears saga, and their readership expanded as well.
“Topics that are more abstract and controversial,” said Ramesh, going through some of her past articles.
However, Rajeev said she’s always insisted that their main mission stay the same: to reach Generation Z, help inform them and get them better involved with the world around them.
Well, they’re clearly reaching pockets of that audience all over the place. Rajeev said they’ve recently added international teen writers to their staff.
“Canada, India, Australia and Kenya,” she said, adding that each brings their own unique world view to the pages of the Chronicle.
The teens are also using the Chronicle to now give more direct help to people suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has joined the Give India effort to raise money and purchase life-saving oxygen concentrators for residents of the country as India was hit particularly bad by the pandemic.
Their Thinker’s Chronicle now has 34 editions up for readers, and the team hopes those will just be the first 34 of many, many more to come. They want to see the paper’s mission go on and even pass down to future student staffs as they each age out onto their next steps in life.
“To care more about society and what’s going on around us,” said Rajeev.