Grace Amsden, Editor-in-Chief
It was a fast-paced journey. It went by fast, too. We packed well for it, making sure to bring knowledge from the AP stylebook, interviewing tips, grammar guidelines. We packed as much as we could to prepare for our life-changing destination. But we weren’t taking a vacation to the beach or Disneyland. Our mission was to provide news for the Pierce College community.
There was constant learning and improving the quality of our work this year on The Puyallup Post. It’s a journey that I’d never want to have taken away from my life.
At the beginning, our staff sat in the Connection Café holding a large training binder for The Puyallup Post. We took AP style quizzes, led practice interviews between one another and tips on writing a news lede… only a few of the binder’s topics. In journalism, there is much to learn.
At the Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center leadership retreat at the end of the summer, we got a whole lot of fresh air while getting to know one another. After getting out of the Pierce College van, we arrived to a destination that felt a bit like 6th grade camp all over again: cabins, trees, refreshing scenery. But this place was for us… a place to work together as a team, establish goals for the year, learn about each newspaper position, write each other handwritten notes to add to our decorated brown paper bags, which served as mailboxes. We even roasted Sour Patch Watermelon over the campfire in the evening.
This was just the beginning.
While managing school among other daily activities, the staff began their work for The Puyallup Post. What’s it like working for this newspaper? Well, it’s stressful beyond belief. Papers are scattered everywhere, creating a new carpet for the floor. The phone rings every second. No – don’t worry. This is an exaggeration. At The Puyallup Post, the structure is quite organized. We have weekly staff meetings, editing sessions, communication check-ins, set deadlines. There’s even a wall designated for pictures of our pets. This isn’t to say that life on the newspaper can’t get busy, though I can assure you that our carpet isn’t covered in papers, and the phone rings once in a while.
If you haven’t seen our office before, it’s that space at the end of the hallway in the College Center. Our office is next to the Office of Student Life. What doesn’t make it special is the yellow lined notepads, AP stylebooks, computers, printer or mini fridge inside. What makes it most special is the people who work inside the office communicating with one another, working on their articles, uploading photos, creating video footage and laying out pages. The people on the team make The Puyallup Post all come together.
We tried many new ideas this year on The Puyallup Post. We held design meetings with each staff member so that they could express design ideas for their articles. We started the People of Pierce section in the paper, inspired by Humans of New York. At the beginning of the year, we changed the whole look of our website by switching to another platform. While the OSL popcorn machine was available to be used, we handed out the recent newspaper with a bag of popcorn.
The Puyallup Post held a week-long clothing swap as one of our events in spring quarter. This was a community service project between the newspaper and anyone on campus. To participate, people could bring clothes to donate to one of the racks. A few racks were next to the OSL and outside the library. The clothes could be swapped with other clothing, though people could simply take a clothing item to keep. The remainder of clothing (the bags were pretty heavy) was donated to the St. Francis House in Downtown Puyallup.
From Feb. 18-21, staff members from The Puyallup Post attended the Associated Collegiate Press Midwinter National College Journalism Convention in Los Angeles. During the conference, our staff took classes on journalistic topics such as interviewing, sports broadcasting and investigative reporting. It’s pleasing to see the lengthy packet with all of our notes combined. At the ACP awards ceremony, The Puyallup Post earned fifth place for the Best of Show Award under the category of Publication Website for a Small School.
June 14 marked the date for when 12 editions of The Puyallup Post were distributed throughout the school year. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a new edition that’s been delivered, which means that the Pierce College community will get to read the latest news.
I love The Puyallup Post, and can’t wait to be back on the paper for fall quarter to create more media magic. The experiences created on this newspaper – the communication skills, mistakes learned from, writing practice – are beneficial in order to grow.
If you haven’t grabbed one already, issue 11 and issue 12 are available on news racks throughout campus. We’re proud to serve Pierce College Puyallup.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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