With the 2020-2021 academic school year coming to an end, many students are finalizing their courses for the following semester. However, it’s not too late to add the Wolfpack Times journalism course to your schedule.
The Wolfpack Times is more than another elective class—it is a family of students working together to cover important news. “I loved this experience and really liked my fellow reporters and editors as they were always very helpful. They were very passionate at providing quality stories for the newspaper,” Johnathan Cordero, freshman reporter, said. Bonds and friendships will be formed among staff members and editors. With the support of our advisor, Mr. Cottom, all staff members will learn how to express their voice through opinion writing, breaking news, reviews, and more.
No prior journalism experience is needed to join the team. All you need is the motivation to learn and interest to explore the endless possibilities. While on the Wolfpack Times staff, you can work on updating the website, writing articles, taking photos, editing articles, and more. There are so many different pathways staff members can take while working for the Wolfpack Times.
There are five main sections that your stories can focus on: Features, News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment, and Sports. In addition, there are editors for each section who are responsible for building their pages using Adobe InDesign. There are also Editor-in-Chief of Design, Editor in Chief of Content, and Managing Editor positions for students interested in leading the newsroom.
The Wolfpack Times staff does so much more than work on the newspaper. We run an Instagram page, go on field trips, attend competitions, and have special access to events.
If you haven’t followed the Wolfpack Times on Instagram you should definitely click here to stay updated with our content. This year our Broadcast Editors have launched multiple series such as Meet the Press and Wolfpack Weekly. By joining the staff you can create your own video ideas and work on your editing skills.
Another one of the many benefits of joining Wolfpack Times are the field trips! We get to visit businesses and offer them an ad in our next publication. “My group and I entered the restaurant, Costa Del Sol, and explained to the owner how including an ad for his business in our newspaper would attract new clients. By the end of our conversation we received our first check,” Bruno Bustamante, Online Editor and senior, said. All staff members have the opportunity to participate in field trips that allow us to raise money for the school paper.
Staff members also get to participate in regional and state journalism competitions. Competitions are an amazing opportunity to hear from speakers, meet other journalists, and practice your writing or photography skills live.
Reporting on school news requires that all staff members cover events and sports games. As a Wolfpack Times staff member you will get free entrances to games in order to capture photos for your articles. “My most memorable moment was going to the football games and being able to interview the coaches and athletes. I was also able to be on the field and take pictures,” Leslie Chang, reporter and senior, said. At sporting events you will have the opportunity to sit on the team bench or stand on the track for the perfect shot.
This school year we have also established a chapter of Quill & Scroll, an international journalism honor society. Quill & Scroll recognizes and encourages achievements in scholastic journalism. There are eight guiding principles: Truth, Learning, Leadership, Loyalty, Initiative, Integrity, Judgement, and Friendship.
One of the best parts of being on the staff is getting to contribute to the final printed edition of the newspaper. The Wolfpack Times publishes an eight-page newspaper monthly with every staff member getting published. There is a 10-step writing process that ranges from getting interviews to writing the first draft and eventually making final edits before sending stories off to a section editor.
Once the ten-step writing process is complete, editors work on building their pages using Adobe InDesign, and the Editors-in-Chief review the pages for grammatical errors and page layouts during stay late days. “I lived for the stay-late days! Eating pizza with my buds was the highlight of my month,” Daniella Hernandez, EIC of Content and senior, said. Stay-late days happen once a month afterschool before the final pages are sent to our publisher.
At the end of our stay-late days, section editors’ final pages get put together and sent out to print. The following morning, the newspapers are delivered to campus and are distributed to every student, which is the best part of the process.
Student Press Freedom
At the beginning of every month, the Editor-in-Chief of Content hosts a brainstorming session where all staff members share any ideas they have for articles. The beauty of being a staff member on the Wolfpack Times is that the class is supported by amazing administrators and our advisor, Mr. Cottom. All voices and opinions are welcome and this has allowed us to write stories like Potty Party and Dear College Board.
Joining the Wolfpack Times staff will allow you to grow in your writing abilities, organization skills, and leadership. Having the opportunity to cover whatever story interests you the most makes this class the most entertaining. “Being part of the school newspaper has made me a better writer, and I’ve learned how to use online tools which will help me in the future. I encourage all underclassmen to join the Wolfpack Times staff and let your creativity flow,” Wendy Caldera, Social Media Editor and senior, said. Submit your application today!