With the start of a new school year, The Pearl Post staff members hope to build off of last year’s success while drastically changing our format.
Starting this year, we will be shifting from our traditional monthly newspaper format to a full-fledged magazine. This means that we will come out with an issue about every two months since we are aiming to have higher quality page designs that are in color with more visual elements. Most of our content will be on our website and maintaining a consistent stream of content will be more important than ever. The most relevant and newsworthy content from that two-month time span will be featured in the magazine.
Having most of the content published on the website first means everything has to be up to date. Our goal for the website is for it to be more visual and have more current information such as polls, sport scores, quizzes and the “Breaking News” ticker. These will make the website more interactive for people who visit it.
Last year, we did a great job of covering various breaking news stories as they developed such as the LAUSD teacher strike and the Scott Silva case. As more stories of this magnitude develop, we will continue to have on-time coverage for these events. On the whole, we want our online and print coverage to have a student angle or perspective to have content that appeals to the students. Considering this year is the Year of Student Journalist, we want to continue practicing our First Amendment rights and be able to publish as much content as we need to.
In a year with such massive transitions, our new editors have made it a focal point to maintain constant communication with the rest of the staff. As a whole, last year the communication between editors and staff was good for the most part but at times it was lacking. We want to create an environment where staff members are never afraid to ask for help or guidance when they need it.
Having effective communication with the rest of the staff produces better content as we learned last year. As a result, we won The Online Pacemaker award and “Best High School Newspaper” at the Los Angeles Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Awards. Our website was also received a first place Best of Show award at the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim. We hope to continue on a similar path this year as well.
We want our staff writers to become multifaceted student journalists as they should have experience in writing, recording, editing and taking photos by the end of the school year. Our emphasis this year is to get higher quality pictures from the entire staff in general since the magazine will be heavily reliant on visuals and there shouldn’t be a scramble to find photos for the yearbook at the end of the year.
Most of our editors don’t have much experience with design and shifting formats on top of that will certainly make starting off a challenge. Our objective should be to make dramatic improvements with content, story ideas and design as the year goes along.
With a new principal on campus, there have been many changes made to the school overall. As a publication, we want to make sure that there isn’t a lack of communication with Principal Pia Damonte or any misunderstandings.
As a publication, we will always take feedback and look for ways to improve as the year goes by. Our goal is to have the publications – both online and in print- be more visual and be more engaging.