I have vastly improved my In-Design skills, thanks to designing both pages and graphics. I am also much more comfortable with Photoshop, and can prepare photos for print very quickly. I am able to utilize GoogleDocs not only for writing, but also for editing, something I've never used it for before.
For the second issue of the year, I took initiative when I wrote my news story about a same-sex couple on Homecoming court. Abbey and Tori had just gotten nominated and we thought there should be a story about them in the paper, but deadline was approaching. I agreed to write it anyway, and rushed around doing research, getting interviews and compiling the story in about three days. It wasn't the best writing I've down all year, but I'm proud of how I was able to work on just a tight schedule and still produce quality work.
I also feel I have taken initiative during the editing process. I am very thorough with my editing, and I make a lot of suggestions on people's stories. I go through each of Lindsay's stories every issue and edit sentence by sentence (and I'm lucky enough that she does the same for me). I have even helped to rewrite certain articles/graphics when we are on deadline.
I think that one area in which Talisman as a whole needs to improve is editing. Although Alex is the copy editor, I think everybody needs to do a much more thorough job in the first few edits. Staffers are really good about making overall suggestions and comments, but very few get in on a nit-picky level and check grammar and sentence flow. I think maybe editors need to have a minimum comment count in order to ensure that they do a complete edit. I also think our first draft, second draft deadlines need to be a little stricter. So many people were late on deadlines last issue, and we had to scramble to get everything done in time. I understand that different stories take different amounts of time, but I think we need to be more diligent about checking that all stories have a good start by first deadline, are almost done by second deadline, etc. Lastly, I think we need better communication between page designers and the people that created the work on their page. I think it would be helpful if we had a Google Doc for each page where designers and content people could check and make sure everyone had what they needed. It would also be much easier to collaborate on headlines this way.
Co-Captain Big Brothers Big Sisters (Carlisle Site)
National Honor Society
Ecumenical Youth Group
I would like to contribute to the paper more broadly next semester by creating lots of different types of content. I want to take pictures so that I become more comfortable with the cameras and Photoshop. I also want to write more news stories so I can practice my interviewing skills and the inverted pyramid. I would really like to write some features, as well, because I feel that they combine my favorite aspects of editorial writing with the more "important" and "professional" news writing. Features also tend to be longer than opinion pieces, and I think I need more practice writing lengthy articles.
The best moments in class for me have been the after-school work sessions I've attended. I loved that I got to interact with staff members other than my independent study partner and really see their personalities. I also really enjoyed the wok sessions because they were always stressful, time-crunched situations, but all the staffers were so funny and friendly and still easy to work with. I loved that we weren't all agitated or stressed and could still enjoy ourselves while getting work done.