Behind the scenes at the Glendale News-Press

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Occidental College student Chloe Jenkins- Sleczkowski today shadowed the staff of the Glendale News-Press. Here’s what she had to say.

The day started with a morning news meeting. Well, not exactly. A brief overview of the office, a coffee run down the street and complaints about rival reporters preluded this. But the official start — the first item on the agenda — was the morning news meeting.

In the smaller of the several conference rooms, we circled around a table and I watched the fleet of reporters present their stories for the day. No one had notes or papers, but instead counted off the facts of their subject and explained why they were important. Editor-in-Chief Dan nodded in agreement and moved down the list of items.

A short outing to the local Burbank pre-school followed the morning meeting. I tagged along as one of the paper’s three photographers covered the annual trike-a-thon — an adorable brigade of 3-year-olds staring in confusion as Raul kneeled in front of them to capture a perfect ground-level picture.

Although I pointed out a few of the cuter kids, he explained that he focuses on the interesting ones, the girl riding the rusty bike or the boy with a joyous face. We uploaded the pictures and I watched him prepare them for publication, a process that involved re-sizing, brightening and highlighting.

Back in the office, I was passed to City Editor Jason, who was in the middle of editing an article that had just been updated. After changing a “do” to “does” and fixing a comma, he showed me the web update process.

Each news piece receives a web presence almost immediately, as per the motto for the blog/website movement. As soon as a story is written, Jason edits and uploads — “breaking news” is indeed instantly breaking forth. And later in the day, as reporters finish their stories and complete their work for the day, they are required to update the blog with one of their stories of the day.

After a quick lunch break to Porto’s Cafe (the éclairs are divine), I returned in time to sit in on a web development meeting. In this day and age, the online news sources seem to rule the world.

Much of what I witnessed today proved that the website receives constant attention and every effort to keep it current. This meeting covered some points on the new website changes, and how it will be better than the current one. Anyone who says that newspapers are a dead field has not seen the complexities of an online journal.

I then accompanied reporter Zain on an interview for the Q&A section — a section that features a different Glendale “celebrity” each week. This week’s item was a local fashionista who has recently gained fame with her blog and appearance on a style show.

Zain and I did some research on her, noting some trends and the fact that she likes to jump in her photo shoots. This turned out to be an important bit, as it elicited an intriguing response during the interview. She told us that she jumps in her photos because it creates a natural, personal and totally unique pose for her.

I watched Zain think of new questions that added to the story. He also explained the importance of always having two recorders — his flashy iPhone has a few functionality problems that tend to lose recorded files.

When we came back from the interview, I talked to Web Editor Jamie about some of the web design aspects of the paper. She updates the blog and website in order to keep the news “breaking.” After making her edits, she arranges articles for online publication. She also ensures the paper’s presence on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.

Then I was assigned to write this blog. Shortly afterward I wrote it, I considered the events of the day, and decided to start looking for an internship ASAP.

— By Chloe Jenkins- Sleczkowski



Written by Times Community News

November 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Posted in glendale, thoughts

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