The Orange And Black

March 2021 Issue

March Madness Is Back!

By Jakob Zittle

March Madness is back after a two year long hiatus after last year's event was cancelled. The last NCAA tournament game to be played was April 8th, 2019, where Virginia beat Texas Tech to win the national title. March Madness has been gone for too long and is one of the most anticipated sports moments of the year. With all of your brackets being busted by some school you have never heard of and the thrill of adrenaline when your team wins that tough matchup to move to the next round, that is what defines March Madness.

The official bracket will be released on Sunday, March 14 so all we can do is speculate where all of the top teams will be ranked amongst the others. The most likely one seeds this year will be Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, and Illinois. Gonzaga is one of the most high scoring teams in all of college basketball and are currently undefeated and West Coast Conference champions after defeating BYU 89-78. Baylor is one of the top shooting teams with a 42.9% three point percentage. They had a three week COVID hiatus going from February into the beginning of March and need the Big 12 tournament to get them back into game shape, or else they may struggle. Michigan is one of the best defensive teams in the country, holding teams to a lackluster 39% from the field. They have been a bit rusty as of late, losing to both Illinois and Michigan State in two of there last three games. The Illinois Fighting Illini have been one of the more surprising teams in the country, led by Guard Ayo Dosunmu and Center Kofi Cockburn. They were expected to be good but not this good coming into the season. Other top teams include Ohio State, WVU, Arkansas, Iowa, Alabama, Villanova, Texas, Houston, and Kansas. What’s intriguing is that typical powerhouses such as Duke and North Carolina will be double digit seeds or not make the tournament at all.

Jess Sutherland, a Junior here at Martinsburg High School, is an avid college basketball watcher and provides a good insight into the NCAA tournament this year. “I think Illinois will win the title this year, they are getting hot at the right time and Dosunmu and Cockburn are playing their best basketball right now. Coming off that Big 10 title win they will be dangerous to any team that comes across them.” I asked his opinion on WVU this year and how far he think they will make it, “WVU will get to the Elite Eight, but then unfortunately lose to Illinois with a chance to get to the Final Four on the line.” A team Jess thinks can make a deep run is the Alabama Crimson Tide. “Alabama shoots the three really well and they have a bunch of athletes that can make plays. I know they have struggled as of late but they will bounce back.” One of Jess’s upset picks that he think will bust brackets is 12 seeded University of California-Santa Barbara(UCSB) over 5 seeded Creighton. “UCSB is one of the most underrated teams in this entire tournament and Creighton is coming off of a bad loss to Georgetown in the Big East tournament. Watch out for the Guachos.” A popular upset pick that Jess agrees with is 14 seeded Colgate over 3 seeded Arkansas. “Colgate can shoot the lights out. They can flat out shoot. They are on a thirteen game win streak and have rolled through those wins. Arkansas is a really good team I just don’t think that they can keep up with Colgate’s outrageous pace of play.”

One Year Into Covid

By Elizabeth Hausafus

It has finally been one year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus a pandemic. Last March, what seemed to be an extended spring break turned into months of quarantine. Grocery stores were missing shelves of cleaning supplies such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and wipes. Across the United States mask mandates and curfew times were issued. All restaurants, bars, retail, and travel shut down which created a standstill in the economy. Little did we know what the year still had to offer.

All jobs, aside from essential workers, were forced to shut down or lay off their employees. 20.6 million jobs were lost and the unemployment rate of 14.7% was at an all-time high since the Great Depression. Small businesses were fearful that the profits that were lost would not sustain them to reopen. Which was the case for more than 100,000 businesses who have listed their closure since March 1. 2020 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, with an increased death rate of 15% and a death toll of about 400,000. Last March, cases were on a steady incline until they reached an all-time high in Jan. 2021 where they began to rapidly decline.

Last year The CARES Act was passed which was a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill given as a cash grant to American families for economic relief. Last week the House passed a $1.9 trillion relief package, which awaits Biden’s signature. Much like Trump’s bill, it will provide a stimulus check to each family. Also, since Dec. 2020 more than 107 million COVID vaccinations have been administered, which accounts for 20% of the U.S. While the highest 7-day infection rate average has decreased 78% since the peak of COVID cases.

COVID has had a great impact on this past year. MHS senior Briana Holston said, “Last March I was excited for a long break, but I had no idea what COVID had in store for us. However, I found some benefit from the pandemic because as an online student I enjoy the option of in-person school.” MHS senior Kevin Pena said, “Even though 2020 was a rough year, I enjoy being an online student and having the ability to work more hours.”

With much hope for the upcoming year things such as travel, and events will hopefully start to slowly return to a normal pace. Mask wearing and social distancing have become a new norm, which may remain a part of our everyday routine. It is projected that COVID vaccines should be available to all adults by May 1. If you are over the age of 16 you are eligible to pre-register for the COVID vaccine, which can be found at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources website.

Mask Removal Mandates Begin

By Jadelynn Joseph

Since April 3, 2020, wearing masks has been a requirement. As covid has continued to affect states all over the U.S, covid numbers have constantly been increasing and decreasing. Lately, the number of cases has decreased and for a long time, they have kept a steady pattern of doing so. With covid numbers slowly declining, mask requirements are being questioned. It has been up to debate about whether, masks should still be worn or not. Some states are on board, while others are currently unsure.

A couple of states have already removed their mask requirements, but not all of them just yet. Texas, Mississippi, Iowa, North Dakota, and Montana are the only states who have lifted their mask mandates. There have been announcements from state leaders stating they will be lifting their mask requirements on a certain date. For example, Wyoming’s state leader stated businesses are reopening March 16th, so that is when the mask rule will end in Wyoming. These announcements being made is a huge deal.

With states announcing that their mask rule will be lifted there have been debates about whether it’s a good idea, or not. Some people aren’t sure if it is a good idea yet because they think it might too early to lift the ruling. According to the school nurse, “It is not a good idea to lift the rule right now because there’s still too many people that haven’t been vaccinated yet and we haven’t reached the point where we can even think about lifting the rule until like 60-80% of the population has been vaccinated or have antibodies.”

All these other states have either lifted the rule or made announcements about a set date for removal, but what is the status of West Virginia? On March 5, 2021, Governor Jim Justice announced he will not be influenced by other Republican governors that are removing mask mandates and that the states mask mandate will stay intact. According to the school nurse, “West Virginia’s numbers aren’t low enough to start allowing the no mask deal and that it’s not a big of a deal, just wear the mask.”

Dr.Queen Resigns from the Berkeley County Board of Education

By Amira Gladwell

On February 25, Dr. William Queen announced his resignation from the Berkeley County Board of Education. Dr. Queen served on the board for 25 years. He became president in 2000. Dr. Queen was recently reelected to the board this past June and he was reelected as president in July for a two-year term.

According to the Martinsburg Journal, Dr. Queen always put teachers, students, and community members at the for front of his agenda. Under Dr. Queens leadership, graduation rates have increased, there has been an expansion early childhood development programs, and many other programs have increased as well.

Principal Jason Kamlowsky from Spring Mills High School, spoke on the subject at hand and why he is sad to see Dr. Queen go. He said; “I am unsure about the specifics as to why Dr. Queen chose to leave with him serving over 25 years, I am sure he had a good reason for doing so. Dr. Queen has overseen much growth within the county and I am sure he is proud of all the good things that happened while he was president of the Board.I know for me personally; I am grateful to him for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a principal in this county. He has always been supportive and there have been a number of times when he reached out personally during a crisis or just to check in. I hope whoever takes his place as president will continue to do those things.”

Dr. Queen did very good in his position as president. On February 28, the Board held a meeting to determine who would take Dr. Queens’ position on the Board.

“As for the part – replacing him – I believe our Board has 45 days to make a decision. The state code gives the Board the decision-making power in this situation and they could do so as soon as tonight or it could take little longer,” said Mr. Kamlowsky. “My guess is they will try to get this wrapped up as soon as possible so they can move forward and have all five members in place.”

On March 15, the Board of Education made a decision to elect Jackee Long for the position of board member. According to Herald Mail Media, Mrs. Long previously served in Berkeley County, but retired in 2014. She served as the state president of the school service personnel union organization for 12 years. She also served as the county president of the association for 20 years. Mrs. Long stated that she believes she can "bring a positive impact to her new position as president."

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Stem Night: A Virtual Adventure

By Afia Boaitey

March 2021 is looking very promising at Martinsburg High School; it is starting off with the MHS’ Science National Honors Society’s Virtual STEM Night! Mrs. Haines, a biology teacher and a SNHS supervisor, is coordinating this event along with student members of SNHS. STEM Night is an event for students K-5th grade attending public, private, or home school (brick or click). It is an opportunity for students to learn about science and engage in fun scientific experiments from the safety of their home. The experiments will include rockets, hovercrafts, and more! The recent COVID-19 outbreak has called for a change in procedure when it comes to school events. Mrs. Haines has combatted this by converting SNHS’ Traveling Science Show, (which was an event very similar to STEM night that occurred for years prior to COVID) to a safe and virtual STEM night. After asking why she felt it was important to continue to hold this event amidst COVID, Mrs. Haines replied, “Well, students have really been dealt a tough hand this year. School isn’t normal, things at home aren’t normal, and if we can bring them a little joy, a little fun, why not?! Plus, our overall goal is always to get and keep students engaged in the sciences. Showing them how science can be fun will help us do that.” This STEM night will be a great way for students to have fun and take their mind off the many changes that have ensued in their education.

Though STEM Night is a way to restore a sense of normalcy, the preparation looks very different than It did for previous science events. According to Xavier Jenkins, the current president and longtime member of SNHS, “Those [SNHS members] who are brick are free to come into Mrs. Haines’ class to learn the experiments and presentation while those who are click can join through teams. Mrs. Haines has also planned to create videos as a reference before STEM night arrives,” after being asked about the preparation for the event. Jack Riesenweber, an MHS senior and SNHS member also added, “Well so far we have been joining [Microsoft] teams' meetings with Mrs. Haines our fabulous instructor. She [has] been going over what to expect for the virtual shows and how we will complete them. We have not actually performed the experiments yet, but we will this Friday (March 19). She will have kits with the experiments made beforehand, so all we have to do is distribute the kits to the children and then perform the experiment with them!” The process of conducting the STEM Night is slightly more tedious and time consuming, but all hands are on deck to make this an amazing event!

STEM Night will be held virtually on March 27th, from 2-3pm on Microsoft Teams Meetings. Registration to attend will be out soon. Stay tuned for updates!

Cryptocurrency Gains Popularity

By Colin O'Kelley

Cryptocurrency may be on a track to become the new way we pay for our goods at the store.

Cryptocurrency is quite simply a digital currency that can be traded or used to buy things. There are many popular different types of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Bitcoin, being the most popular among the cryptocurrencies, was where crypto all began. In July 2010, one whole bitcoin went for a total price of $0.08. Now fast forward to March of 2021, the current price of one whole bitcoin is currently worth $56,328.80. The jump in price is very large and crypto is still only taking baby steps.

Many people now are only investing a small portion of their money into cryptocurrency in hopes of making more than what they put in. Steve Taylor who is invested into Bitcoin said, “I just recently invested into Bitcoin because I feel that it would’ve been a good investment down the road.” Investing into crypto is very good because it is a very new thing and seems to be very popular as well as useful. Crypto is already being used to buy things online. Services such as Twitch and Microsoft are allowing people to use some of their crypto to purchase something.

Cryptocurrency may seem great however, it is impacting the climate much more than what we expected. Since the price of Bitcoin is so high, people set up rows and rows of computers to solve hard problems on the internet to earn a sliver of a Bitcoin. Since the competition for earning these Bitcoins are so high lots of people are doing this which uses up lots of energy. Bill Gates said, “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind, and so it’s not a great climate thing.” Bitcoin supporters say that the carbon footprint of the transaction can and will be eliminated. The reason why it will be eliminated is because the computers can run off electrical grids that use clean energy from things such as windmills and solar panels. This will eliminate its carbon footprint which means the climate won’t be affected by crypto mining.

Crypto may one day be the norm for having to pay for goods. It is very useful because it’s a quick way to transfer money between two people. Companies are starting to allow people pay with their crypto because it is worth so much. The technology that we use for crypto will only get better and the energy that the transactions consume will only get cleaner each day. Owning crypto can be risky but it can also be a good thing because the prices will eventually rise as it begins to be used in people’s everyday lives.

Texas Rangers to be 100% Capacity for Opening Day

By Haley Stotler

As the springtime and warm weather comes rolling in, all of the spring sports are starting up, with hopes of continuing what they missed out on last season. Baseball season is right around the corner, but how will it continue to work with the Coronavirus restrictions? Even with mask mandates and states opening to 100% capacity, there are still some concerned dedicated fans.

On Wednesday March 10th, the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team announced that for opening day at Globe Life Field in Arlington Texas, they will be at full 100% capacity. Just a week earlier, the state of Texas announced that the mask mandate is lifted, and Texas itself will be opened 100%. Fans were allowed at the some of the games last year, but never anywhere near the full capacity limit. This will be the first professional sporting event to operate at full capacity during the Coronavirus pandemic. While everyone can attend, masks are still required for now except for when eating or drinking. Neil Leibman, the President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer stated in his press release, ‘’We will continue to monitor developments and implement the necessary public health measures’’. Vice President and Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Joe Januszewski said in his press release for CBS news that they are allowing full capacity because they made a commitment to everybody and they will honor that.

Jakob Zittle, a Martinsburg High School baseball player, when asked how he felt about the opening day capacity stated ‘’Each MLB team has the right to make its own decision. I love watching baseball, and I know a lot of other people do so I’m all for it’’. Jakob also says that he believes even with 100% capacity, everyone should still be required to where face masks. ‘’I just hope for a full MLB season since there wasn’t one last year, and for high school I just want to have a season since ours got cancelled two weeks into the season’’, Jakob says. After opening day, the Rangers will switch to certain sections that allow ‘’distance seating’’ and will allow full capacity of their two final exhibition games. Fans with opening game tickets who are uncomfortable will be allowed to exchange their tickets for a future game, and the entire stadium will be cashless. The Texas Ranger club also plans to honor frontline heroes with free tickets to March and April games. While covid restrictions are now lifting, we can all hope that our favorite sports will be able to play in a safe and fun way.

The Increase of Asian Discrimination Due to Covid-19

By Valerie Clabaugh

The Asian American community has faced discrimination due to COVID-19. This has come with the impact of over 3,000 anti-Asian hate crimes throughout the United States ( This comes with the wrongful belief that Asian Americans were responsible for the Corona Virus. This narrative has grown more hateful and expanded into hate groups. Hate crimes on Asian communities and businesses has increased recently, which has led to new groups, movements, and protests for equality and safety.

Many individuals have received some sort of discrimination in the past couple of months. This has included physical assault, racial slurs, and other forms of harassment or inequality. These actions have occurred from students in schools to adults in the workplace. They have also occurred outside on the street. A social media thread was started after the death of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, who was assaulted and pushed to the ground on his morning walk. This led to his death two days later ( Many other crimes of burning Asian owned businesses, assaulting elders, and younger generation harassment have happened in the last year. Many people have spoken out about their experiences and sadness with the hatred. A Spring Mills High School Student, Maisie Montanes, has shared her thoughts on the recent events,” Coming from an Asian background as Filipino, it is heartbreaking to see all the hatred towards our community. I have had close friends and their families go through these types of injustices.”

All the recent injustices have led to new groups, movements, and protests for the Asian community. Groups such as the ADL, AAJC, and the NYCAAMH have all helped in the strive for protection and equality for Asian Americans. These groups have given help and resources to all victims of discrimination. Other organizations such as, NYC Human Rights (Stop Asian Attacks) have given direct resources for help. Social media movements and information has led to the increase of protestors and help for Asian communities. Slogans such as, “End the Violence Against Asians, Asian is not a Virus Racism is”, and more have taken over the media. A local Martinsburg resident, Mona Montanes, has spoken her thoughts on the movements, “It is wonderful to be able to witness so much unity from my community. Representation and equality are an important part of our rights as Asian Americans, it means a lot that people are fighting for it.” Lots of protests in major cities for equality are being held. Hundreds of rallies are currently taking place in

Thia Martinsburg Review: Next Best Thing?

By Jason Bednarski

Thai Martinsburg is a local Thai restaurant on 200 West Burke St. that serves Thai cuisine from the official Thai national noodle dish Pad Thai, to curries like the Panang Curry, Fried Rice dishes, soups like Lemongrass Soup, and appetizers like Fried Calamari. The lunch price for chicken, beef, pork, or vegetarian on various dishes was $10 and the dinner price was $14. The lunch price for shrimp, seafood, or duck for certain dishes was $13 and the dinner price for it was $17.

According to Brian Bednarski “The prices ended up being a little bit more than I thought they would be.” When we went we ordered Pad Thai, Thai Fried Rice, and Spicy Eggplant, and Lemongrass Soup. I thought the food was pretty good, there were just so many different flavors in the food. Also, according to former Martinsburg student Matthew Bednarski “ I liked the Pad Thai, Thai Fried Rice, and Spicy Eggplant were good. I would also consider getting food from Thai Martinsburg again.”

Most of the time people feel encouraged to go to restaurants because people tell them the food is good, but I feel like the atmosphere of the restaurant can make people want to come back to the restaurant and Thai Martinsburg didn’t disappoint it was transformed from a house into a restaurant which makes it feel homey, also it has 2 floors of seating areas inside, has fancy decor, and has spacious patio seating behind the restaurant in a courtyard with lights hanging above the fence. I would definitely give Thai Martinsburg a 9 out of 10 because it had great food, and great flavors. “I liked the presentation and portions of the various dishes. I specifically enjoyed the ingredients, flavors, and spice of the spicy eggplant dish,” said Brian Bednarski. It also had a great atmosphere and it was a great experience. But, it was a little bit pricey. I hope people will go and give Thai Martinsburg a try because you will love the food.

Winter and Spring Sports Work To Navigate Rules of Covid

By Joshua Garrido

With the season’s changing, so are sports especially with COVID-19. But some sports are pushing through to practice and play. While others are trying to condition for their upcoming seasons in the spring. With limited time and new guidelines, sports are trying to make the most of it. Especially with the seasons being pushed back by COVID-19.

While interviewing athletes for winter and spring sports they all had a change to their season’s. Elizabeth Silver, a tennis senior said,” Tennis is the best socially distanced sport. You don’t have to come within six feet of your opponent to play. The only difference is we won’t shake our opponent’s hand at the end of a match.” Doryn Smith, a basketball senior said,” We started later which we usually start in December the finish in March. But due to Covid we don’t finish until May. Due to Covid we lost a lot of time to build our chemistry and gel together on and off court.” Nathan Roemer, a swim senior said,” As of right now, we can only do one practice per week in the Shepherd pool. We are only able to have one meet which is the regional meet. Due to our county being red for a long time this made us lose time practices; while other teams have been competing in meets and practicing.” Shyne Knotts, a baseball senior said,” We have to wear our masks in the cages and the dugouts. But besides that, everything else is pretty normal for the season.”

While some sports have started, others are getting ready to start. Even with all the changes from Covid, precautions and new rules are being used to play sports. With all the different sports and changes all the athletes are looking forward to their season. Despite sports being pushed back all sports are a go! *As we go to print our county map is on the verge of turning red in which case all sports and extracurricular activities will come to a halt.

Martinsburg High Student Will Not Let MD Slow Him Down

By Jaelyn Stely

Martinsburg High School sophomore Jason Bednarski was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (MD) in first grade. Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass over time. He was recently interviewed by WVDM about his condition and how he doesn't let it define him. Although his condition might stop him from doing some things, he doesn't let it get in the way. Jason says he wants to go to college at either Shepherd or WVU to study engineering or a sports medicine. Jason was referred to a program called Team IMPACT which is a national program that connects children with disabilities to college athletic programs. His doctor was able to contact the Shepherd Rams and arrange a pairing between Jason and the Shepherd Rams football team.

Jason said over the course of nine years, MD has taught him a lot about perseverance. He says “one of his biggest strengths is being tough.” He has been able to overcome many challenges because of it and he's done it with an optimistic attitude. Jason is into robotics and is a member of the A.C.E. team at MHS. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, and kayaking and enjoys building Legos in his free time. Jason says “I've always wanted to do what every other kid could do but some things were not possible but there are still a lot of things I can do and I'm grateful for that.” “Since my diagnosis I have been able to live almost normal and have been able to be happy. Even though I have MD it doesn't stop me.”

His family has been standing by his side through it all and encourages him everyday. His brother Matthew Bednarski says “His level of determination and willpower is second to none in anyone he has seen. Most kids with MD are in a wheelchair by 13 and Jason made it to 15 without ever being in a wheelchair. Unfortunately, Jason got into an accident the week before homecoming last year and ended up breaking his foot and if it weren't for the accident Jason would have gone even longer without the wheelchair. If you asked any doctor, they would have told you Jason would never be able to walk, but Jason had other plans. After he got out of his hard cast Jason attended physical therapy and after about 6-7 weeks of PT he began to walk on his own again. It is hard to truly understand the amount of work and dedication that was put into Jason's recovery if you were not there everyday. He inspires me on days that i don't want to get up or don't have motivation to do things, but I always know if he was blessed with the same abilities as me he would outwork and outperform me if he had the chance even for a day.”

Jason continues to go through these challenges everyday with a smile on his face and will not let MD get in the way of accomplishing his goals and dreams.

Dr.Seuss Canceled?

By Addie Hughes

Year after year, the world becomes more inclusive and sensitive to hurtful topics. Just in the past couple years, many controversial conversations have been brought to the world’s attention and fixed. TV shows have been cancelled, songs have had to fix certain lyrics and celebrities in the spotlight have had to reevaluate and become educated. People may have thought this “cancel culture” was left behind in the past year. It was, however, brought along into 2021. The very popular children’s writer, Theodore Seuss Guisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, wrote 60 books over the years. He was born in 1904, and published his first book in 1937. At this time in history, society was not as culturally aware. Oftentimes stuff was written, seemingly fine, and can be viewed as “slurs” today. Recently, the Dr. Seuss foundation decided to stop publishing a few books that have gotten some negative reviews. While the public’s view probably pushed the foundation to make a decision, they did state that they made this decision on their own. The biggest reasoning was that the books were culturally insensitive and the books were not the most popular ones anyway. Therefore, they were just planning to stop being printed. The books affected were If I Ran the Zoo, To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, McElligot’s Pool, The Cat’s Quizzer, and On Beyond Zebra!. According to NY Times, the foundation “did not want Dr. Seuss’ legacy to lead anyone the wrong way.” According to senior Jack Reisenweber, “ I do not think Dr. Seuss or his books should be cancelled.” He believes the books are silly, nonsense children books full of made up words. Jack says, “I do not believe there are derogatory undertones made to insult people.” This has already brought so much controversy surrounding the topic, full of opinions from all types of people.

Time Springs Forward as the Weather Starts to Warm Up

By Naieem Kearney

It is a beautiful springtime and for most people that means getting outside and seeing everything bloom with the shining sun and the comfortable evening breeze. Spring offers warmer days and with lighter and longer evenings which means people are more inclined to exercise and spend time doing more outdoor activities.

Why is this so important? This time of the year is very important because this is when the depression rates start to drop dramatically, and people start to become happier. On a mental health chart for the United States, it shows that from Nov-Feb compared to March-June the depression rate decreases by 30 percent. That is a dramatic decrease. Studies have shown that the warm weather motivates people to do outside activities that they normally wouldn’t do any other time as in, riding a bike, exercising, or even hiking.

With fun activities like those and even receiving vitamin D from the sun can raise chemicals in the brain like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. These chemicals are released within the brain when excitement and happiness is taking place improving your daily mood. To see how effective springtime really is to people I went around and asked 4 students what the best time of the school year and season to them are and this were their answers.

MHS senior Kevon Warren said that “track season is by far my favorite time of the school year” and the reason why is because “that's when the weather picks back up and I enjoy going out on runs in the spring weather.” Other MHS students like Anthony Smith and Kai Walker agreed with Warren, as Walker stated, “Waking up in the morning with the sun already out is just an amazing feeling, during the spring I wake up knowing it's going to be a great day”.

The Rise of Netflix

By Emily Beck

Netflix, an app downloaded by over 200 million people around the world. It was originally launched by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in August of 1997 and is now the world's largest subscription streaming service. Netflix offers movies anywhere from the 1994 film “Shawshank Redemption” to the Disney favorite, “Frozen”. It is the popular movies and series that allowed Netflix to gain popularity but lately it is their Netflix originals that have been hits.

The first Netflix original was released in 2013, “House of Cards.” This series did incredibly well and made viewers demand more like it from Netflix. After “House of Cards” was released Netflix hit a turning point and their subscriptions increased by 33% from 2012 to 2013. This major milestone for Netflix would help give them the capability to expand beyond the United States into 130 countries around the world. Just a year later, Netflix would have 54 nominations at the Emmys for its original programming. Netflix was rolling out shows like, Stranger Things, Ozark, The Crown, Virgin River,Outer Banks, and Bridegerton.

Studies show that the increase in Netflix originals is because of their increase in spending. Netflix spent around $15 billion dollars in 2019, with around two-thirds of which was spent on original shows according to the New Statesman Podcast. The originals offer viewers a different type of show. These shows attract people who want to watch a series in one sitting. The shows themselves have more intricate storylines, slower-moving plots, and more complex characters.

Whether or not you are one of the 200 million subscribers, there is no denying Netflix has changed the entertainment industry.

2021 Newspaper Staff

Josh Garrido, Senior; Naieem Kearney, Senior; Afia Boaitey, Senior; and Andrea Allen, Senior.