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Work experience

  • I would have to say that my best work, and hardest, was the Every Fifteen Minutes story. Although I wasn't a reporter who had actually went out and obtained the pictures and video, it was up to me to sort through over 2500 photos and go through several hours of video. It truly tested my abilities of Editor of Multimedia as I organized a 15 picture interactive graphic, created three different photo slideshows (two consisting of over fifty photos) and produced a video...all of which I was able to polish and complete before 8:30 the same night of the events. I put a lot of hard work and time into this special report. True, I didn't actually go out and take the pictures or ask interview questions, but that doesn't matter. Someone can take a picture but it was I who was responsible for putting the media together on the site and making a visual story. 

  • The work I do as Editor as Multimedia consists of "behind the scenes" tasks: selecting and cropping photos, publishing files, editing video, attaching pictures to articles, modifying audio, etc. My work is not a tangible piece of work on its own but, instead, appears on more than half of the articles on our site. I've created several albums for our bigger stories including BioScience Olympics, Renaissance Rally, Senior Pride Day, Club Rush, and the Ventura Music Festival. For most stories, the reporters turn in three times the amount of photos the slideshows are consisted of - that's a lot of selection and editing. My best work helps create the best works for the Dragon Press as a whole. 


Delivering Breaking News

Throughout the first semester, I had several moments of initiatives, both of which benefited the multimedia side of our site. During back to school night, I was videotaping a majority of the performances and the audience. A few minutes into the King twins performance, I noticed Ms. Temple approaching the stage, clearly trying to tell them something. So, I turned my camera onto the show and was able to capture the King Twins reluctantly exiting the stage. Though the reason hadn't been announced, I knew something was wrong - which meant a story needed to be uncovered. I stopped covering the rest of the show and, instead, went back to our booth to find Anaika. No one in the booth had seen, or heard, what happened so I told them the story ad it was immediately decided to interview Ms. Temple and the twins. Later that evening, as Anaika wrote the story, I uploaded the video that had captured the "pulling of the plug" and the "offensive" lyrics that had caused it. If I hadn't noticed the problem, or taped it, the Dragon Press wouldn't have been able to release one of our most "breaking" stories. 

My other example of initiative comes with our biggest package of the year: Every Fifteen Minutes. After the three reporters brought in thousands of photos and hours of video, I came in after school to construct the video, "15 picture" slideshow and the three photo slideshows. I finished the slideshows after sorting through 2500 pictures. The video needed to be informative, interesting and had to include the three stages of the event; and I needed to finish it in less than an hour and a half. I stayed at the school from 4:30 until 8:30 and in the end we had a complete package of photos and video. If I hadn't had the initiative to come in and complete the varying slideshows, graphics and video the story would have not have been garnered the same success. 



Second Place

Dragon Staff 10-11

Goals for Second Semester

The staff members of the Foothill Dragon Press should always be looking to improve the content and quality of the site; it will be my goal that our site will have a better abundance of multimedia, including videos, podcasts, polls, etc.

In order to make more vidoes for our site, we need to include more "package" articles. Videos that are included at the bottom of the articles makes our site look abundant in news and capable of good reporting. For this upcoming semester, we should start teaching people how to properly use the video cameras, upload the footage and edit their own projects. This will not only result in more content for the Dragon Press, but it will ensure that the staff for next year will know how to make effective and informative footage. So far, only Chris and I work with iMovie and Garageband on a regular basis and we should ensure that others can continue multimedia content next year.

I would also like to see a better quality in photographs. The pictures that are posted on our site today are okay and are, if anything, standard. We need to remind people to not be afraid and get closer to their subjects; personal pictures will really enhance the graphic quality on the site and it seems that our reporters have become shy and accostumed to standing in the back of the room.


I believe that, from my choices on the Pyramid, the element I reflect the most would be "Competitive Spirit". I don't strive for personal recognition but I do work hard so that my efforts will reflect on the site, making the Dragon Press among the best online high school newspapers. When we receive a story, it is my intention that the Dragon Press will be the first to report the news, it creates this image that our staff has the same abilities as real journalists do. Our win in Kansas City and the NSPA's award of All-American Status is a result of the effort to be the first and the best and it heightens my hopes that we can continue to earn such titles.

As Editor of Multimedia, I want to make sure that our own media is the best it can be, our decision to be an online site has to be followed with strong multimedia. Every once in a while, I look at other high school newspapers who have won Pacemakers or "Best of Show" awards to see what the competition demands. By looking at their graphics, videos and photographs, I can see exactly where we need to step up the game; whether it is increasing video coverage on breaking news or including interactive media on articles. After all, you can only improve by looking at others who can do it better than you can.

I have a competitive spirit; I'm always looking to reach the next step in the hopes that it will improve the quality of our site. 

Rights and Responsibilities

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

As journalists we are entitled to specific rights, even if we are a part of a high school publication as stated in First Amendment: “freedom of speech, or of the press”. As a public high school student, we are limited to the First Amendment as public schools are government agencies. However, in private schools the First Amendment does not regulate behavior, instead state law or school policy provides legal protections for press freedom.

In the 1968 Tinker Case of Debois, Iowa the Supreme Courts ruled that the First Amendment protects on-campus student speech, such as the armband the students wore in protest of the Vietnam War. In the Hazelwood School District vs. Kulmeir case of 1988, where a principal attempted to censor an article, the Supreme Court reduces the First Amendment protection. The difference between these two cases occurs between non-school sponsered speech (Tinker) and school-sponsered speech (Hazelwood). However, the latter ruling is void in California since we have an "Anti-Hazelwood Law". 

Skills Continued...

Being Editor of Multimedia requires already established skills in audio and video; this is also my second year in journalism so, fortunately, working on the backend was no problems. However, the skills I developed or improved on this year would include editing stories, uploading and attaching photos to articles and using the joomla module for our website. I have learned how to use Picasa albums sufficiently and how to attach these albums to articles. In Kansas City, I took a day-long class on the basic of Photoshop and now know how to edit photos other than the program iPhoto. 


Besides journalism, my life is filled with extracurricular activities. In my senior year I decided not to play basketball and thus discontinued my role with Ventura Girls Basketball in order to join more organizations and focus on school. This year, I am in two Advanced Placement classes, Literature and Government, and am also enrolled in photography. 

As far as on-campus programs go, I am a F.I.R.E leader for ninth graders (and am very sad to see them leave this semester) which I enjoy, amazingly I don't miss hour long lunches as much as I thought I would. This leadership position has definitely heightened the joy and enthusiasm of senior year; my biggest goal is that my ninth graders will remember how much candy I gave them on Fun Fridays and will not look back at F.I.R.E with dislike. I am also a part of the Invisible Children Club and have assisted at a benefit concert to help the children of Uganda and stop Joseph Kony. 

However, the biggest activity this senior year would be my Hero Project. For this assignment I decided to take on something a little harder than joining Habitat for Humanity every other weekend or tutoring elementary school kids. I decided to launch my own campaign throughout Ventura for the organization Save Japan Dolphins, with three main goals in mind: stop dolphin slaughter in Japan, end dolphin captivity around the world and prevent the spread of mercury poisoning through dolphin meat. It's a task that has consumed many hours of my last year in high school but I have so much passion for saving the dolphins I hardly look at it as a mandatory chore or task. 

I have made and sold friendship bracelets, organized garage sales and, most importantly, have given powerpoint presentations to classes here at Foothill. I have already talked to and informed the entire freshman class and, with two more classes to go, will have done the same with the juniors. I have raised nearly five hundred dollars, spread awareness to hundreds of people and have met several juniors who are interested in carrying on my campaign next year; next semester I will be visiting the middle schools. It's feels so fulfilling and worthwhile to actively help stop dolphin slaughter and to start a whole new campaign here at Foothill.

My Highlight

The trip to Kansas City was a memorable experience...I will always remember that Kansas City is in Missouri and not Kansas. Of course, even the best trips have highlights of their own and when I recall Kansas City I will remember two things.

1). The first is how easily two juniors, a senior and a teacher can succumb to the delightful temptations of a magnetic mini man. 

2). The second highlight comes with the biggest award the Dragon Press has earned to date. We had sat through two hours of awards that we didn't connect to us or the site - why must the online portion always be at the end? So when the time eventually came, and they had started to list the winners, we all began to lose hope as they read places 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3...we obviously hadn't won anything...2nd place goes to The Foothill Dragon Press! Walking to the front of the ceremony to receive the award for Second Place Best of Show is definitely one of my favorite highlights this semester.