Pelham High School newspaper staff teaches Colonial Times editors about production


The Pel Mel editors and staff reporters explain how they produce the newspaper.

PMHS — Staff members of The Pel Mel, the student newspaper of Pelham Memorial High School, treated the Colonial Times editors to a presentation on how they produce their paper.

News Editor Roberta Barnett outlined some of the challenges of working on the newspaper. “The deadlines are the hardest part,” said Roberta. “Things can be very time sensitive.”

During the presentation in the high school’s Information Center, Editor-in-Chief Ann Dwyer explained production of each edition starts with ideas.

“First we get together at class and brainstorm,” said Ann. “We also talk about which stories we should do.”

The staffers from the Times also heard from the The Pel Mel’s editorials editors, features editors and sports editor, as well as Ms Nicole Wasnetsky, the paper’s advisor and teacher of the print journalism class.

Samantha Wright, sports editor, said she does profiles on teams in different sports and on individual athletes. When there’s an important game, either she or a reporter goes. Every now and then, she can only write a short paragraph about a team because of deadlines.

“I like to learn about different teams and their talents,” said Samantha, who is also captain of the girls varsity soccer team. “I like  to write about hockey. The hardest part is how unpredictable sports can be.”

The editorials editors explained about the opinion section of the paper. “Students like hearing other students’ opinions, which is why people like reading the editorial section,” said Caroline Ruocco, co-editor of the section.

Her fellow editor Walker Fountain said, “I guess my favorite part of newspaper is writing lots of editorials.” He said his first two articles this year were editorials. One was on “why people shouldn’t discriminate against Muslim people. My second was on taxes representing President Obama’s side.”

“The hardest part for me is the lead” of a story, said Walker. “Starting it off takes a lot of thought, so it can be a challenge.”

Caroline said her first article was on “animal therapy, about people in nursing homes and people who bring their pets to these people.”

Features Editors Clara Leonard and Jamie Kaiser said their department does the movie and book reviews and stories about people and history. Feature stories include lots of background, they said.

Ms Wasnetsky explained the beginning of the year is like a crash course because the journalism class students have to learn the software used to produce the paper.

All in all, the Times editors were told it was fun being on The Pel Mel and what they should do if they want to be on the paper in high school.

Contributing to this story were Helena White, Francesca Di Cristofano, Peyton Rees, Daniella Cherner, Claudia Dodge, Henry Driesen, Sam Rodd, Lindsay McNamara, Manon Bushong and Daniel Bernstein.