- Ventura US-CA
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Actually, my highlight of Journalism is the fact that I am a part of such a successful news site. Not only do the awards given to our publication excite me, but also the general atmosphere makes this one of the only classes where I can relax. Though editing a person's paper is engaging work, I feel much more at ease in this class in comparison to other classes I take. Therefore, I feel that every day I'm in this class is my highlight of my time at school.
The donuts help too, honestly.
Member of the National Forensics League (Debate Team)
Member of Culinary Arts Club
Member of National Art Honors Society
Mentor for Foothill Intervention and Re-Enrichment
Boy Scouts of America
Working at a Boy Scout summer camp as a counselor
Private lessons for piano
A couple weeks into my position as editor, I started thinking about how exactly to involve myself further with my staff. At that time, the reviewing precess was very disjointed and separate; I would just look at articles and see whether they were good or not and then send them back without much other than "this needs work". Since then, the editorial process has become more involved in terms with discussing the article with the writer. Since it is the job of an editor to both review and edit a person's work, I've been more active in suggesting revisions as well as working with the writer on how to make the article more effective for the Dragon Press. While this gives me significantly less time to do my own works, on top of a busy school schedule, it is worth the quality of opinion articles currently on the site.
Having better quality on the press is also the reason why I submitted a new version of the rubric for the grading process, focusing the work primarily on the effectiveness of the writing rather than the content. That's not to say that either one is less important, but it is both that create a solid opinion article. Realizing this, I drafted such a rubric and it got accepted as the new one.
The best thing for a newspaper's success is the preservation of its integrity. Integrity should exist in all levels of journalism, from the editors to the journalists themselves, to both streamline the process of article submission and keep inside relationships with each other strong. It means, essentially, to stand by the core values of what the Dragon Press is and what it should do to keep that image.
Several opinion articles have been deemed not worthy of publication due to this reason. Audrey's WalMart story and Charlotte's ASB criticism are two that are most notable for their questionable level of integrity in their writing. The Dragon Press has standards to uphold even when the point of media is to uphold free speech. Tradition plays a role in the rejection of these articles as well. It is because of those traditions that we feel the need to uphold the integrity of the site. The most important aspect of retaining integrity is retaining public respect in the process, which raises our credibility. Seeing (or being informed weeks later) an article that gets passed by me but not by the Editor-in-Chief saddens me sometimes, but I understand completely the need to refuse publications that can ruin the integrity of the Dragon Press.
This was an event that I felt a bit more strongly about than usual, which shows that an opinion writer should take into account how strongly they care about the subject they write. This is one of two articles of mine that are currently online, but this article depicts exactly what I look for when I read opinion pieces: some reference to a current event that can be tied in to the main point, a main point, quality of writing, and recognition of the other side of the argument. Not all arguments are one-sided; some simply choose to ignore it. That is the kind of behavior I desire to avoid in the Dragon Press, and this article is an example of what I want from the staff.
This story must have been submitted to me at least three times for editing because I would always find new ways to make this wonderful article even better. At first it started out very mediocre: uninteresting title, grammatical mishaps and slight straw-manning of the other side of the argument were present when I first read it. Not only did I revise several sentences, I also talked with the writer (who was in this case Katie Elvin) about exactly how to make her argument against violent video games more effective, ranging to providing more examples to recognizing rather than criticizing the other side of her argument. The article, in its final draft, turned into something I could be proud of on the site.
A brief summary of first quarter and what to expect of the rest of the year, and perhaps something the section can do more of. Similar in concept to the A&E's "Top 10 of '10", this piece was more of a listing of things that have potential to be interesting compared to the more serious tones of the majority of pieces, which look for a problem and bring attention to it. This article also delves into a bit about values that students should uphold, and though I believe that is shouldn't be used all the time we should nevertheless be aware that we hold certain common values as students by just enrolling in FTHS. Overall, now that I look at is again, this piece is alright for a first publication on my part.
Each journalist holds the essential right of free speech and free press, as explained in the Amendment I of the Constitution. Student journalists are no different; they too must adhere to the responsibility of informing the public about what issues are important as well as alert the public about things that will affect them. Our publication is special in the sense that it is a public forum and not affiliated with Foothill Technology High School. This means that the Foothill Dragon Press is only restricted by federal law and does not necessarily have to be approved by the school administration before any articles are published.
Some scuffles with the government have won journalists more recognition to their deserved rights. The case of Tinker v. Des Moines concluded that the undisruptive expression of opinion on-campus was entirely constitutional, as per the example of wearing black armbands in order to protest the Vietnam War. This case in particular strengthens the rights of people like journalists who express their opinion on-campus and do so without the fear that the administration will punish you for "not following the rules". However, other cases such as Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier have restricted the freedom of the press in school campuses. The Supreme Court sided with the school because the school's newspaper was not a public forum and therefore had to go through prior review and restraint to comply with school appropriateness. The action of pulling the article about pregnancy and divorce was entire constitutional under that situation, but still diminished the scope of free speech that publications are allowed to cover.
The main focus I want the Opinion section to pay attention to is synergy; not just with their editor but also with others as well. Some things about how the section works will undergo some drastic changes in order to both streamline the process and set parameters on what the Dragon Press expects of their writers. I want the chance for writers to look towards collaboration and new ways of thinking about stories so that our section has both more quality and more variety. I want my staff not to focus on quotas but on quality.
I, also, must demonstrate my worthiness of being the section editor by being more involved in the writing process. I need to write more articles for the Press, and where those writings belong does not matter. To be more involved with the system would mean to be more knowledgable about what to do with publications in the future.