The world through the eyes of Madison


Bella Gustafson and Cate Langhorn


A mere two weeks after opening, the new James Madison High School would release the first edition of its newspaper on Friday 18, 1959. The paper had no name and more importantly, no writers, but in the span of only a month it would gain a staff and begin production as The Hawk Talk, a name that has stuck through the past 63 years.


With headlines such as “Girls Are a Hobby?” and “Honor Society Now Approved,” this issue stands as a time capsule of sorts, showcasing the overall culture of the time period. The issue also provides a unique insight into the founding of our paper and the process of naming it. Tawn Turner, a freshman in 1959, won the “Name Your Newspaper” contest with the name “Hawk Talk,” which was one of three names chosen by a student faculty committee, then submitted to the student body for voting. The name “Hawk Talk” was won by an overwhelming large majority, and has been our official name since.


Issues of the Hawk Talk from this decade covered many topics but perhaps the defining moment of this decade was its end. The final 20th century issue of the Hawk Talk included an article criticizing the Y2K craze but the newspapers primary focus was a centerspread dedicated to the people who had shaped the century. While Madison students previous  top vote for most influential figure went to Martin Luther King Jr., current Madison students voted for figures such as Barack Obama


The first issue of the 2001-2002 school year was released only three weeks after school began and focused almost entirely on the monumental event that had occurred just days after the start of the school year: 9/11. With ten separate articles about this tragedy, any other topics mentioned were overshadowed. Throughout the following decade the Hawk Talk would publish hundreds of articles but few issues would cover topics as globally impactful as 9/11.


The 2010’s saw many articles surrounding technology and social media. One issue covered popular YouTube singers- one group mentioned, The Midnight Beast, has recently moved to a sitcom format. With social media based careers on the rise it’s interesting to see where these 2010 YouTubers are now.


In 2020, the pandemic limited the paper’s publishing to online, so our reach was limited. Coming back in 2021, The Hawk Talk switched to a magazine format, adding fun activities on the back of each issue such as a crossword or sudoku.