Letters From The Editors: Follow for follow? (Except we probably won’t follow back, sorry)


Justin Curto and Jena Smith

Welcome back to Letters From The Editors. Yesterday, our Twitter account (@millvalleynews) reached 2,000 followers. Considering our school only has just over 1,350 students in it, we consider this to be quite the accomplishment.

As the editors of an online publication, social media is our biggest tool to market our content. Because websites aren’t physical publications, students often forget about them. Having a presence on social media like Twitter allows us to remind students that we’re still here, and it also lets us update our readers on a day-to-day basis about what we’re posting on the site. Being on Facebook gives us a connection to parents as well, who are also affected by some of what we report on.

Because social media is so important, Mill Valley News (and most other online publications, too) need an editor dedicated to operating social media accounts. We didn’t realize how hard it is to regularly post content on social media, though, until we were left without a social media editor last week.

Lucky for us, two new JagWire staff members volunteered to help us out as social media editors for the rest of the year. Now, sophomores Alison “Ali” Booth and Nora Lucas will share the responsibility to post stories and breaking news on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, taking an immense weight off our (and Liz’s) shoulders. So, make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with their posts and updates.

Lessons of the week

J-Curt: My lesson for this week is very concrete — I’m finally learning how to shoot and package video. Like we’ve stressed before on our blog, multimedia has never been more important in journalism, and video is a huge part of multimedia coverage. As someone who eventually wants to report for an online news outlet, learning about broadcast journalism has been pretty exciting. It’s also harder than I thought, though — aside from just shooting video, you also have to worry about graphics, transitions, audio and writing. Despite this, I can’t wait to continue learning about broadcast so I can start posting some videos to Mill Valley News and broadening my skills as a journalist.

Jena: At times it’s easy to get into a mindset that J-Curt and I “work the hardest” on Mill Valley News. On the newspaper staff, we have a hierarchy with editors-in-chief at the top, editors in the middle, and non-editor staffers at the bottom. While it’s nice to have a chain of command, every staffer is important and vital to the production of newspaper, yearbook and web content. While I couldn’t tell you why it took me over two years on staff to realize this, everyone works hard and does their part to make Mill Valley News a successful publication. I’m thankful for every staffer and what they bring to the table.

That’s all … for now.

Seniors Justin “J-Curt” Curto and Jena Smith are the editors-in-chief of Mill Valley News online. They appreciate captioned photos, categorized and tagged stories, staff members who don’t text about web assignments at 11 p.m., teachers and students who talk about things they read on Mill Valley News and all things multimedia.

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