The Pen Paper Gets Busy
• With hard work and dedication the Peninsula High newspaper staff brings the news to students.
As the digital age takes charge and slowly replaces newsprint, it is important to keep the spirit of journalism alive through in the creation of a newspaper.
Peninsula High’s award-winning newspaper, The Pen, strives to harness that spirit and maintain it with every issue throughout the year. As the school year nears the end, current editors and adviser are interviewing to see who will be able to run the newspaper next year, whether a specific section or the paper as a whole.
The Pen has eight issues of a 12-page paper each school year. A typical production cycle begins at the beginning of the month with a storyboard held during lunch, fifth period and sixth period. During storyboard, writers and editors pitch ideas about stories that could fit under five categories: news, opinion, focus, student life and sports.
Once all the ideas have been voiced, section editors choose two topics for each of their section writers. Because of the many writers this year, many articles are co-written, resulting in two bylines per article.
The next step is for writers to write their articles and for editors to create page layouts that outline the basic idea of their designs, and, once approved by the editor-in-chief, the editors submit a graphic request or schedule photoshoots, depending on their layout.
Articles are turned in, graphics are emailed and pages are transferred from an idea on paper onto the screen of a computer. Around the third week of the month, on a Tuesday, the entire staff stays after school until 6 p.m. for paste-up, where editors and writers work on their respective projects. The following day, leadership and editors stay in journalism class until the pages are emailed to the printer.
The whole process starts again after a lunch-meeting. The Pen staff continues to work in the creative hub of ideas to disseminate information to the student population.
There are many difficulties involving the production process of a newspaper that may not always be accounted for, but the staff is resilient and able to overcome the road bumps.
“I love newspaper because even when we are having issues, we are able to band together to solve problems and complete a finished product that we can be proud of,” said senior and Editor-In-Chief Emily McGinn.
“Newspaper combines writing, creativity and teamwork, and it has given me the opportunity to work with some of the best people I know, which makes this experience more than worthwhile, despite difficulties we face each issue,” McGinn said.
As a result of this hard work, staff members on not only The Pen, but other high school newspapers as well, have bonded together in a way that is indescribable and cannot be attributed to other clubs or activities.
“Newspaper is definitely an endeavor that requires the highest form of sportsmanship and communication,” said senior and Managing Editor Alison Kim.
“There are definitely challenges in running the school newspaper as a student, but my fellow leadership members as well as others on staff have always had my back. Through thick and thin, newspaper has always been about conquering obstacles and celebrating milestones hand in hand with each other,” Kim said.
Being in journalism and creating a newspaper from scratch not only betters a person’s ability to write and investigate, but it also highlights the importance of timeliness, organization and family.
Newspapers bring all the feelings and emotions that cannot be received from just reading an article on a website. Holding a physical copy of a newspaper is completely different than scrolling while staring at a glowing screen. The paper is a culmination of the hardship and stress that was put into it and reflects the invigorating information as well as the harmonious components on each page.