Reflecting on this year’s accomplishments


Adriana Chavira

The staff of The Pearl Post and Prestige Yearbook got through their obstacles this year and earned various recognitions.

With this chaotic school year coming to a close, our staff has had to navigate through a number of challenging obstacles to make it to this point.
Going into the school year, we set out with lofty expectations as we were coming off of a year where both our website and newspaper received recognition from a number of journalism organizations.
However, we knew things would take longer to get going as we shifted formats from newspaper to a news magazine and we had to get acclimated with the new staff. Our staff not only writes for the magazine and website but also for Prestige Yearbook and PBS Student Reporting Labs. The first issue of the magazine was especially tough for everyone as all of us were new to designing for a magazine and we fell way behind on the deadline we had set. We faced a plethora of technical issues and even external issues with school being shut down due to a wildfire as we were getting ready to publish.
Not only did we have to deal with technical issues and external issues but we had to go through the process of getting a new principal at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. Getting a new principal brought up some issues with the publication, not only because our principal wasn’t used to having student reporters go to her for interviews but because she wasn’t familiar with our rights as student journalists. We had to go through the process of setting up multiple meetings with her to defend our publication.
By our second issue, we were starting to see a clear overall improvement in the quality of content that was being produced and the designs for our magazine. It was by no means a perfect issue but there was definitely a sense of progression for both editors and staff writers that should be seen by the end of a semester.
Things just started going off the rails as we were planning for our fourth issue, the coronavirus pandemic effectively canceled in-person classes for the remainder of the semester. We were no longer able to produce the magazine as many editors didn’t have the software required to design pages from home and creating a magazine is a collaborative effort that requires constant communication between editors and staff writers, which would prove to be even more difficult given the current circumstances.
We had to quickly shift our focus to producing content solely for the website and social media. Some of the stories that have been produced during this pandemic have been some of the best of the year and we want to commend our staff writers for still putting together quality work through these trying times.
Many of the stories produced were recognized and earned “Best of Sno” badges. Not only has the publication earned “Best of Sno” badges but it has earned others which include the “Site Excellence” badge and the “Excellence in Writing” badge. Along with the badges, the publication has an app, which is linked to the website to notify subscribers when a new story is posted.
One of our primary goals was to have an effective chain of communication between editors and staff writers but at times we seemed to fall completely flat on that front. Stories just weren’t being pumped in the time frame we expected and even editors at times failed to edit stories in a timely manner. This led to various points in the year where there was little to no content for certain sections for weeks at a time.
With the school year ending, we still have a great amount of breaking news surrounding the death of George Floyd and protests that are calling for an end to police brutality that needs to be covered. With this being said, even through the week of finals, we will continue to do our job as student journalists and make sure we publish content that is timely and important to our school community. As student journalists, our job is to continue producing content and being able to balance covering events and schoolwork.
As we look forward to the next school year, there will likely be even more uncertainties as to the nature of how the district plans to commence with learning and we may even have to start next remotely. Even through all the uncertainty, it still remains our job as student journalists to continue speaking the truth especially now when the amount of misinformation being spread has skyrocketed.
On the bright side, many of the staff members from this year will be returning next year and having that level of experience from our staff will be crucial in making whatever transition we have to make next semester, a smooth one. There is a lot of promise and potential in our new staff members, which hopefully means we could greatly build on all of the work we did this year.