"Let's get crackin'!" - J. Streisel
Standard 1: Journalistic Perspectives

I assisted my newspaper staff with creating a video on the New Voices legislation to help pass the bill in Indiana. I collected interviews and came into school during the weekend to help edit the video. In the process, I learned more about the history behind where I am today. This journey with HiLite has given me unique perspective on how lucky I am to be on the staff of a newspaper publication which is able to run as a public forum, as well as how much freedom we have in expressing ourselves today.

Standard 2: Legal and Ethical Principles

I have written a handful of stories where I had to balance what I legally and ethically could and could not share. In these situations, I needed to sit down and look at the information I had and what I should and should not share, as well as gain parent permission for a couple of these stories.

I wrote a story on a student who does not conform to society’s gender “norms,” and had to get parent permission due to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Policy Act).

Click here to read the full story.

I also wrote a story on modern Wiccan practices. While I was originally unsure whether I needed parent permission, in the end I determined the story did not violate FERPA.

You can read the story here.

With a fellow reporter on staff, I covered a local show which promoted inclusion of students on the autism spectrum. While we did need parent permission for this story, there was less of an ethical issue, as it was a rather positive story highlighting a mother’s efforts to make people like her child feel included.

Click here to read the full story.

In March 2020, as the world plunged head-first into the COVID-19 pandemic, I shared my opinions as a teen worker dealing with the pandemic. The series of columns I wrote as well as an infographic I made with one of my co-managing editors were points of view I ethically felt I needed to share to keep myself and my community safe.

You can read my first column here. Click here to read the second column. You can read my third column here. Find our graphic on COVID vaccines here.
Standards 3 & 4: Media Writing Processes/Writing for Media

I have been doing journalistic writing for almost four years, and each year I have seen an improvement in my writing. From my first journalism class in middle school to becoming a member of newspaper staff, I have gone on a journey to discover my voice. I learned to find passion in what I’m writing about to give life to my stories and find myself becoming entranced by the topics I covered, even if it was not something I was previously passionate about. Take a look below at some of my writing.

Story: Daniel Tanner transcends typical gender stereotypes with fashion
Story: Something Wiccan This Way Comes
Story: A Spotlight for All
Story: Dancers learn, teach, choreograph pieces as a way to express themselves
Blog: TV Playlist: Coronathon [MUSE]
Column: “Essential workers” continually put their lives at risk during current pandemic
Column: Web of Respect
Story: In Full Bloom
Standard 5: Newspaper Production Cycles

As a reporter and graphics artist on newspaper staff, I juggled many assignments while also keeping up with the rest of my school work. My second year, as a section editor, I managed a group of reporters, photographers, and graphics artists, while also being in charge of designing two spreads each issue. My co-editor and I collected ideas from our section before leading a maestro meeting where we decided which ideas were going to turn into stories. We assisted our section with completing their assignments, as well as occasionally taking some ourselves. Each issue we have an “entertainment spotlight,” which we collected content for an issue ahead, which allowed us more freedom with those assignments as well as a backup in case something fell through.

My final year on staff, as one of five print managing editors, I helped guide our staff to creating the best publication possible, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Each of me and my co-editors were assigned two to three sections of our publication each issue to keep an eye on throughout the issue cycle. This involved reading through all the stories, taking a critical look at the photos, assessing the infographics
and analyzing the design on a spread.

However, the biggest and my favorite responsibility was helping our editors grow into the best leaders they can be, and teaching skills to anyone who asks. Similarly, as we proofread our issues before they come out, I strive to help others with making their work the best it can be, while also taking my peers’ comments and using them to improve my own work. This year on staff has taught me time management skills and given me a critical eye to help me create work that I am proud of.

You can take a look at some of my work through the “Design” page on this website or going to my staff page on the HiLite website.

HiLite: Tessa Collinson
Standard 7: Media Leadership

As an editor of the entertainment section last year, I faced a number of challenges, such as keeping content gatherers motivated to submit quality content and on time, as well as struggling on occasion with design. In each situation I made sure I took a step back to view the situation as a whole and find a way to solve the problem. Most of the time, by distancing myself from the situation, I was able to see a clear solution. Sometimes this meant falling onto backup content, while other times it meant gathering content myself to ensure that it would be the quality expected. If I could not solve the problem individually, I made sure to involve the necessary people to assist me rather than attempting to take on too much myself. While it was a challenging year, it allowed me to grow as a leader and I helped my section grow into their roles as well.

This year, as a print managing editor, I assisted my section editors with their own challenges. They faced similar obstacles as I did, such as needing help coming up with backup content for a story that fell through or keeping their content gatherers working when dealing with hybrid or even completely virtual schedules. Taking my own experiences as a section editor, I advised them on the best way to handle situations calmly and effectively. Meanwhile, I navigated issues such as requests to take down stories and helped transition our publication to be online-only for the year. Despite the challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially interacting with staff mostly virtually, this year allowed me to teach others the skills I’ve learned on staff and continue to find myself as a leader.