My Vanguard Experience


BALDWIN PARK, CA — Ever since I was in elementary school, I have held an interest in becoming a journalist or writer of some other sort. My dream was quite literally crushed when I found out Baldwin Park High School did not have a journalism course nor a school newspaper.

However, on October 2014, I was offered the chance to join the Vanguard Club, the new newspaper club started by a handful of enthusiastic juniors. After I decided to officially join, everything else happened and I am here today.IMG_2500

Being part of a news staff is something I have never experienced before. While the Vanguard News course is only a high school class, there are times in which I feel what I believe to be the atmosphere of an official news room. The feeling arises most when I rush from my computer to get my paper copy of my article for the week to deliver to my editor. Just the journey itself makes me feel as if I am a little circuit of a larger and more significant machine.

Like any other machine, the Vanguard News functions in a complexly organized way. The typical week in the newsroom is parceled out evenly in a process developed by the cooperation between this year’s staff and the advisor, Ms. Margarita Milnes. On Friday, staff writers choose their story ideas for the upcoming week. Then, they discuss rough draft and final draft due dates with their editors. Editors usually see the first rough drafts by Wednesday or Thursday of the following week and have rough drafts returned as soon as possible.

Fixes are made and a final draft goes to Ms. Milnes. Soon enough, the article goes live on the website, usually on the following weekend. While the process sounds straight-forward, it can become hectic, but the experience is one unavailable anywhere else.

Being a journalist also comes with benefits alongside responsibilities. One of the greatest benefits is the press pass; Vanguard staff have press passes for school events, such as sports games, meaning we get free entry to events we need to cover for the week.

Another benefit is the communication practice we get from both writing our articles and interviewing individuals regarding our article topics. Journalistic writing is different from the typical writing one does for English class. The goal of journalistic writing is to convey as much necessary information in as little amount of space and time possible. Being part of the Vanguard staff gives many opportunities for writers to practice this efficient and precise type of writing. The same experience comes with interviews. Vanguard staff have the chance to practice interacting with others and to get target answers from their interviewees through questions.

Essentially, being part of the Vanguard News has given me unique experiences that I have desired since elementary school. After spending a year writing for the paper, I am seriously considering going into the field of journalism. Writing is something I enjoy and writing for the Vanguard News certainly made me realize this fact. Being part of the Vanguard staff exposed me to many opportunities and I am grateful to have had the chance to be part of the 2015-2016 staff.

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