As a green screen editor during my final year on the gazette stuff, I didn’t think there would be much left for me to learn in terms of technical things. But I was absolutely wrong. On the New York trip at the CSPA Convention, I learned an immense amount of information on how to improve our newspaper during an on-site critique. The most valuable critique we received was how to make The Gazette more visually appealing to readers, which I took with a stride and implemented in future green screen editions of the paper. For example, I learned that illustrations are not as effective as an actual photograph and can be an unnecessary waste of space. After hearing that from the critic, I, along with the rest of the editors, began going out and taking more pictures for our pages and engaging in more active journalism.
This year I chose to branch out and write more news stories which helped get my writing onto A1. An article I wrote covering Every 15 Minutes was the article I took most pride in this year. It was a slightly controversial view of E15M since the overall question in the article was whether the program actually has an affect on the students. I enjoyed writing this piece because I personally had a general curiosity about the topic as well. The only thing I would have done differently is I would have talked to the interviewees in person had it been possible, since digital interviews are not always the best quality. I would have likely received much more emotional responses on this particular topic if I had interviewed them face-to-face.
I will be graduating this coming Saturday and then will be headed to UC Berkeley in the fall. I definitely did not ever expect be typing those last five words but it’s happening. I plan to pursue communications and media studies at Cal and hopefully get an MBA after college. The overall goal is to potentially get into the communications management side of large corporations. I would also like to write and edit for the Daily Cal in college.
The criticism can be rough the first one or two issues, but once you get the hang of it, I promise you’ll really get into the class like we all did. Journalism can be really rewarding, but also really disheartening at times. My biggest piece of advice is to go with your gut when you are writing/editing something and always, always ask your editors for help if you need it. That’s what they’re there for.
As a part of the Gazette stuff this fall, I have learned how to flourish in my position as a Green Screen editor, since my past editing experience had been in the Features category. I had always been fond of creating illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, so being a part of Green Screen has helped me embrace that passion. In the process, I have learned how to use new tools in the two programs in order to assist with page design. As a Green Screen Editor, the page load is much larger, which I was not used to. Previously, as a Features editor, I was used to only having to edit 2 pages per issue. In Green Screen, I have had to learn to balance up to 5 pages at a time. Because of this, I have learned to manage my time more efficiently and refrain from procrastinating, which has helped me finish things by the deadline, even with a heavier load.
My favorite article that I wrote this issue was my article about the long term effects of Every 15 Minutes. It was my first front page article, and I was really passionate about the topic which made it really fun to write. I genuinely enjoyed hearing what the interviewees had to say about the subject and formulating a story around their answers. I was actually curious as to whether the effects of Every 15 Minutes, a program to prevent drunk driving, really resonated among our students here at Granite Bay High School. The story worked out well even though it was a tough deadline, but the only thing I would change is who I interviewed. It was difficult to find people with different views on the topic which led to a slightly one-sided view, which was okay, but the story could have been improved if there were multiple views to provide a more balanced article.
In the future, I plan to graduate high school and attend a 4-year university. I am unsure of where I want to go, but my top two choices are the University of Southern California and the University of Washington. In the spring, however, I plan to spend one last semester on the Gazette staff as a Green Screen editor. I hope to enter some competitions and attend the national journalism convention in New York with my fellow staffers.
For new people who are joining the staff, I would advise them not to get discouraged in the first few weeks. Journalistic writing is different from the writing that is done in English classes, which many are not aware of when they enroll in the class, and it can be difficult transitioning into a new style of writing. It is important to have patience while learning, because once they get the hang of it, it can become something that they really enjoy. It took me a while to get into the swing of things on the Gazette staff and to really start enjoying it, so I hope that the new staffers will have the patience to stick with it and allow the class to help them grow in the same way that it has helped me grow.
In the 2015-2016 school year, as part of the Gazette staff, I have learned the key parts of being an editor and how to work programs such as InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Time management was another key skill I learned in the process of being an editor. It quickly became evident that waiting until the last minute for stories would be much more difficult while also having to edit two pages in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper.
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