Learning about news: Castle Valley homeschool students visit the Emery County Progress
|Josh Bone, Nathan Brower, Aaron Bone, Ben Jewkes, Aaron Brower, Adam Bone, Benjamin Brower, Jax Kraync, Daniel Bone, Asa De Groff, Caleb Brower and teacher Lisa Brower visit the Progress office to learn about newspapers.|
When does the newspaper become news, well probably when the Castle Valley homeschoolers visit the newspaper office to see just what makes a newspaper office tick. The workings of a newspaper office is not so much what's going on inside but what's going on in the outside world. Everything that goes on in Emery County is of interest to the local newspaper the Emery County Progress. The students came to the office at 410 East Main in Castle Dale to get a feel for the life of those involved in putting out a weekly paper. The editor, Patsy Stoddard went over the workings of the paper with the students.
Who is getting married and who is going on a mission? All of these things may be of interest to those in the county. The real stories deal with the people in the county and what they are doing. It's not just county people doing things in the county, but county people as they venture out into the world and the impact they make there.
As the people go far and wide, the people left behind like to know where they ended up and what they are doing now. The newspaper likes to do stories like that to keep people informed.
People who work at newspapers in rural communities are always going in a hundred directions at once. It seems the flurry never dies down, you will sometimes think, "Oh when this is over, then it will get better," but it never does it seems sometimes like life is one continuous day where it never stops and never begins and never ends, but just goes around and around.
The people are the lifeblood of a newspaper. If people didn't live, work, get married, die and play football, writers wouldn't have anything to write about.
A typical day for a newspaper is filled with many activities and functions. The day begins early, some days begin with photo shoots, after taking the photos, the reporter arrives at the newspaper office to download the photos and check for the ones that are the best. Also, a story must be written to accompany the photos. The editor will choose the photos that she likes the best to go with the stories. Photos that contain interesting people doing interesting things are always the funnest to put into print.
Each photo taken that is to be used in the newspaper, must be put through a photo process. If the photo is to be reproduced in black and white then the color must be stripped out of the photo. Most digital cameras take photos that are very large and must be resized to work properly in the newspaper. After the photos are taken care of then they are ready to be put onto a page for reproduction. The photos and story are arranged on a page in an attractive manner.
Newspapers sell ads to people who are trying to sell items or to advertise their business. Customers come into the office and talk about the ads and what they want to accomplish with them. The newspaper people help them to design the ads and bring the information to the customers.
An event can become more important if the newspaper is there to cover the activity. Pictures and/or a story can appear in the newspaper and the event becomes bigger and more people know about it. The newspaper covers most of the events in the county. As the reporters run from place to place to gather the news they learn a lot about different subjects. On this particular day, a World War II Veteran came into the Progress office to talk about the war and other experiences in his life. He belonged to the Civilian Conservation Corps, during the 1930s. The old man now 92 years, recalls fondly the days of old and the projects and jobs he was involved with during this time. While he was stationed in Germany, he was able to capture a man who turned out to be a major war criminal. The stories of the past can become stories for today as people learn about the past and the people who lived there and accomplished the things that they did. Building a bridge from the past to today is a task the newspapers can bring about as people read stories of days gone by.
Children can learn about war and the Veterans that fought in the war if they read stories about them. Stories and histories can be lost if they are not recorded. Newspapers can help with preserving history by telling the stories of the past along with the stories of today.
Newspapers are all about words. One of the greatest challenges is to make sure all the words in all of the articles are spelled correctly. This is not an easy task and time is spent each day looking up words and reading stories over and over to try to catch any mistakes in the text.
Besides taking care of customers, the newspaper people cover a lot of meetings in the county. The commission meetings can be very boring, but very are usually filled with good information. The reporter takes notes and brings the information back to the office to write up the story. It is a good thing to let people know what is going on in the county and to keep people informed.
The county is a very busy place. People have accidents and other things that happen to them. The newspaper also knows about the calls that the sheriff's office goes on. Some of the more interesting things are reported about, but a lot of the calls are just routine. The court system also has a lot of news as the people who have commited crimes go through the system.
It's interesting to learn about the crazy things people do and get that information ready to go to the public.
While observing in a newspaper office, you will see the workers take a lot of phone calls and questions from the public. Sometimes people will call with suggestions or events which they would like to see the newspaper cover.
The students asked many questions and everyone was given a newspaper to taken home.