Our website is Vistanow.org. We use it to publish breaking news at our school, photo galleries of events and to post personal articles. This year, I've tried to encourage staffers to write things that they're passionate about. In the beginning of the year, everyone got so used to just producing the content they were instructed to do. So, recently I am trying to find out what my staff members are intrigued by, angered by and genuinely interested in and persuading them to write about it.
This post was one of the first times I knew I wanted to pursue journalism. I was in Indianapolis at the 2016 Fall National High School Journalism Conference. My friends, my adviser and his former student, rushed out to the Indianapolis state capitol, which was only a block from our hotel to capture the climate of a real newsworthy event. After roaming around the rally, my adviser gave us a few hours to complete a news package and publish it on VistaNow. We quickly and efficiently worked on editing photos, transcribing quotes, writing an article and compiling footage for a video. Although it was a little chaotic, I learned a lot about how a newsroom would look. It inspired me to chase more climactic stories and to give the minority group (Indiana a typically Republican-based state), a voice. I strive to find events and stories like this in my school and community.
The link to the news package from 2016 is here.
Finding a way to recap the excitement that courses through Mountain Vista during Wish Week was a task. To reinvent ourselves and to not repeat last year's recaps, MVM used 'Knightlab' to timeline the various things each day.
Here is the link to Friday's timeline, the day I was in charge of.
Live blogs are a great way to keep people updated. Whenever we do them on VistaNow, we gain a lot of views. Annually, the staff gathers for the first home football game. It is our 360 coverage night to introduce the new staff to what we do best.
The link to my first live blog is here. I participated in taking photos, running them up the bleachers to my former editor-in-chief, Conner Davis, having him edit them, place them in the blog and running back down to the field to catch the action.
The link to my own live blog is here. This is the first live blog I had completed on my own. It was stressful at first, basketball is very quickly paced. So keeping up with the game, typing the plays and updating the live blog was difficult. I enjoyed keeping fans updated with photos and plays. It was fun to keep people informed on a quicker and more in-depth level than Twitter.
VistaNow serves as a tool to give students, parents and staff an insight into breaking news. When I was initially shut down by my fellow editors, I still decided to share the story of a special needs sophomore girl undergoing extensive surgery to remove tumors. As I had previously learned, it was my passion to share people's stories and to get important news published. My post got plenty of views, while also gaining publicity and donations for her GoFundMe link. This is the link for her news story, and the GoFundMe.
Additionally, I wrote about the recent school shooting in Parkland. It was surprising news and affected me emotionally. The link to the article is here but you can also find it under my "News Literacy" tab.
A great way for people to quickly and easily access moments is through photos. I made a photo play-by-play to wrap up some of the moments that made Vista's 2018 Wish Week iconic. The link to the photo story is here.
When it comes to the most popular sports, with a staff as large as ours, we typically have as many as five people or more covering the event. We post the photo galleries the next day after editing the photos. It is one of the most popular reasons people view our site. Mainly the athletes, parents and coaches save and post our photos.
The link to my most recent sports photo gallery is here.
As in years past, social media has been our biggest tool to reaching students. It provides a platform for promoting our news magazine and larger stories, but also to share small information about students and upcoming events.
Twitter is by far the best way to reach our students. It is a unique outlet where we can connect with students almost instantly. Having a large follower base has fathered us to link our articles to our Twitter page.
Below I've attached some of the few versatile things I've used the VistaNow Twitter page for.
Instagram has proven to be very resourceful for sharing short stories and advertising for our own program. Our staff members post on Instagram at least once a week to get weekly content on the page. It can be varied from sports to clubs and academics or just to showcase something a student does.
Below I've attached some of the Instagram posts I have posted or I have approved to be posted on the site.
Snapchat is a quick way to get a unique type of information to viewers. This year, I decided to bring something new to the table to engage a new audience with Snapchat. I created "Snapchat Take Overs" at Vista. We have a student that is participating in a unique event such as a state competition, Wish Week, studying for finals week or behind the scenes at the school play take over the snapchat for the day. It was extremely successful. We had 20 to 50 people add VistaNow on Snapchat each time.
Although our Facebook followers are typically parents, it is still a very useful tool when reaching out to the community. We post photo galleries to the website, VistaNow.org, and they can be posted on our Facebook page as well. When our program hosted a DCSD Board forum, I designed a flyer for the purpose of reaching out to the community, mainly adults, to encourage them to attend our forum.
I mainly use Pinterest for my personal account. It is a way to find inspiration for designs, photos and writing. It is a very useful tool for sharing, pinning and finding more creative ideas all in one place.