Student Editors Discuss SNO Distinguished Sites

If you鈥檝e been checking your email聽this week, you鈥檝e probably聽seen聽the tips, tricks and advice we鈥檝e shared from our聽聽advisers. So far, we鈥檝e covered聽听补苍诲听.

Today, we鈥檙e shifting gears, highlighting a few student editors who shared some insights about leading their staffs to becoming Distinguished Sites.

Much like many of the advisers, the students stressed the importance of getting staff organized and clearly communicating expectations.

Grace Miller, editor-in-chief of聽聽at Cannon Falls High School, recommended聽setting a frame of reference early on.

鈥淪tart the year with a cohesive plan for earning the badges,鈥 Grace Miller said.

Similarly, Kacey Miller, editor-in-chief of Cedar Park High School鈥檚聽, ensures everyone on staff knows their Distinguished Site badge goals as well as their roles in fulfilling them.

鈥淥ne of the biggest things that helped my staff work to receive the badge was a thorough understanding of the rules for each badge. Explaining to them the type of guidelines that are expected to be followed to be able to meet the publication requirements was important because it allowed for everyone to feel that they were doing the right thing with their work and contributing to the site,鈥 Kacey Miller said.

The student editors seemed to agree聽that intentionality and badge delegation聽were both聽important parts of the process. Web Editor-in-Chief of West Linn High School’s聽, Joseph Murphy, emphasized this when discussing how his staff balanced their pursuit of the badges.

鈥淚 think the most important part of the process is making sure our brainstorms are deliberate, making sure we are assigning stories that could have a different story page format, and making sure we are delegating work in the multimedia area,鈥 Murphy said.

As far as persevering聽through the process,聽both Grace Miller and Kacey Miller had helpful suggestions. According to Kacey, it鈥檚 all about spending time learning the ins and outs of the site, particularly the design features, even if they may feel intimidating. For Grace, having a designated person 鈥渨ho is familiar with the site and willing to explore and troubleshoot鈥 is key.

Ultimately,聽it was clear that persistence聽and staff empowerment were necessary in achieving聽Distinguished Site status.

鈥淚 just had to trust others. At some points, it was hard because I did put a lot of time into putting forth a plan, but it works. We got the Audience Engagement mostly because our social media editor was on top of it and I didn’t have to do much with that. We also got Excellence in Writing because everyone made good edits on the article 鈥 Not a very technical point but trust has helped me and the staff!鈥 Murphy said.

We鈥檇 like to extend a special thank you to these student editors for sharing their thoughts with us. As聽we鈥檝e done every day this week, we鈥檙e concluding this report with a reminder of the 鈥渨hy鈥 behind the Distinguished Sites program. Fitting for today, this one is all about the students.

  • 鈥淎llow the classroom to operate like a newsroom; students are at the heart of student journalism, therefore let them create an environment to be accountable for their work.鈥 鈥 Yiu Hung Li ()

Stay tuned for our fourth and final Distinguished Site badge tips report coming your way tomorrow!