Letters From The Editors: It’s been a rough week


Justin Curto and Jena Smith

Welcome back to Letters From The Editors. As we’ve written this blog, we’ve realized that it’s actually pretty therapeutic. Sometimes, it’s good to debrief about what we’re going through, good or bad. So, while we don’t want this to turn super complain-y, it’s been a rough week and we need some blog therapy.

During newspaper today, the staff was planning their coverage for the week. Now that half our fall sports are over, it’s been hard to find coverage. However, we had an unusually high number of staff members come to us today in need of ideas for coverage. This made Blue Four and seminar especially stressful for us, and, although everyone ended up getting something to cover, it didn’t set this web week off on the best note.

Also, we had to have a few come-to-Jesus talks (to borrow a term from broadcast journalism adviser Dorothy Swafford) with staff members this week. Basically, we addressed some problems we were having with the people involved. While this was well-received by the staff members we talked to, it made us realize how much we don’t like to be confrontational with people that we’ve been friends with throughout high school. In Jena’s words, “I want to be a person, not an editor,” and, although we sometimes need to be confrontational and firm as editors, it’s never a fun thing to do.

After an official quarter of school, we ironed out lots of details in production and content, and thus found our very own methods to the madness. It’s fair to say that we’re learning more each day of what works for the staffs and what doesn’t. Now that we have a production cycle in place, it’s frustrating to be responsible for cleaning up other staff members’ SNO posts, but we hope to help staff members pay more attention to detail in the future.

Well, to be completely honest, we planned on staying after school for a little bit to write our blog. After getting off topic several times and engaging in discussions about everything from narcolepsy to scarring childhood memories, it is now almost 5 p.m. and we’re still sitting in the journalism room on a Friday night. Sorry for not having a super sentimental and hopeful tie-in, but we out.

Lessons of the week:

J-Curt: (This is going to be quick because I want to go home and eat food.) After this week, I realized how necessary communication is in leadership. I debriefed about a ton of issues with Jena this week, and, through communication, we resolved them. On the flip side, I also realized that some of the issues we’ve been having on web could have been avoided with clearer communication.

Jena: I’m a people person, and I’m also a very confrontational people person. I have no issue with bringing up problems with others and talking them out. That being said, it was an unenjoyable time this week talking with staffers about mistakes that were being made on their part. But, at the end of the day, it was good for me to learn how to address problems in a way I never had before.

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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