Editorial: Come Join the Newspaper Staff

Jocelyn Castañeda

More stories from Jocelyn Castañeda

Question…why haven’t you joined The Aztlán staff yet?! Now, hold on! I know what you’re thinking ‘Why would I join a class with a lot of writing?’. EHHH, wrong! Newspaper and journalism are perceived as writing classes for people who love to torture themselves with more language arts work, but in reality, it’s nothing like it. Now that I blew your mind, stay a little longer and find out more secret benefits of joining newspaper and journalism.

First things first, writing articles is not like writing essays. In language arts class, you’re given a strict prompt that limits what you can write about and how you can write. Of course you’ll have to work on your grammar and writing skills, but here you are welcome to develop your writing style your way. No more following a single, lame format of quote, analysis, quote, analysis. In journalism, we encourage you to find your writing style along with your voice. I’ve always been a pretty decent writer, but I never really enjoyed writing before joining newspaper. Once I was given the freedom to write my own way, I actually improved my writing skills and became more comfortable with my own views.

Plus, newspaper isn’t just about writing. We do a lot more that can also help jumpstart careers in photography, broadcasting, cartoons and design (through InDesign). Because we do more than just writing, you’ll complete your fine art elective credits. And trust me, newspaper is definitely one of the best ways to get those credits because although it will be a class period during the day, you’ll mostly work online, independently and at your own pace. The load isn’t super heavy, and you’ll be given weeks to complete your articles before the deadline. Most classes have demanding daily homework, so take advantage while you can!

Another reason why you should consider joining journalism is because it can take a lot of weight off your shoulders when it comes to preparing for your future. Colleges love seeing applicants who are in newspaper! Being a part of a newspaper staff verifies your commitment, advanced writing skills, community involvement and organization skills. Your articles can definitely influence your admission decision as you can express your own and your generation’s views through responding to current events publicly. Joining journalism also gives you a chance to hold a leadership position (which colleges also adore). I can’t stress enough how much being in newspaper, being an editor for a prolonged period of time and expressing my opinions through my writing has helped me with my application process.

If you’ve made it to this point, you definitely deserve to know about what I’m about to expose. A huge part of being in journalism is representing and gathering the views of our generation. So, we of course interview people and have to attend events such as games, dances and shows. Because of this, you will be given a press pass. This will give you pretty much unlimited access to any event you’re covering. I don’t abuse the pass, but I have gotten into games, performances and more for free because of it. Free is always nice to hear but getting the chance to experience more of high school and getting involved has been fun too. We also get to go on field trips to newspaper conventions, competitions and even get invited to Disneyland.

Now that I’ve convinced you to give it a try, please feel free to email next year’s Aztlán adviser, Erica Kadhom, at [email protected] for more information on how to join.