The Bruin Post


Lauren Wynn

The staff of MVHS’s The Bruin Post.

This year Mountain View’s newspaper, The Bruin Post, changed to an online format rather than the traditional paper one it has been in the past. This transition was brought about for a number of reasons, including funding and the Covid-19 pandemic. But while this change may have been frightening at first, it has ultimately proven to be a huge success.

The Journalism team also got a new teacher over the course— Mr. Walsh. This was his first year at MVHS and first time teaching Journalism. But unlike the previous teacher who ran the class like, well, a class, Mr. Walsh took a different approach, acknowledging the Journalism class only as staff members.

“This is your paper,” Mr. Walsh explained when asked about this approach. “I’m here as a facilitator. I refuse to call you students. I always say the staff. The staff. The editors. I don’t refer to you as a class, but as a staff.” And indeed, the students of the Journalism class were treated like staff members, making The Bruin Post truly our own.

The staff members are in charge of all aspects of the paper, from pitch meetings to writing to editing, though Mr. Walsh is always happy and willing to help if needs be. But as the year has gone by, the Journalism staff has gradually learned how to function like a well-oiled machine.

At the start of the year, there were only two leadership positions on the staff: the Managing Editor and the Design Editor. These two editors initially did the majority of the editing and made sure the finished product of each article looked as it should. But about halfway through the school year, five more leadership positions opened up— the section editors; the News, Opinion, Arts and Entertainment, Sports and Other editors were chosen by the original two editors and Mr. Walsh based on their work and abilities, which allowed for the work to be spread out more.

No one on the staff is assigned to write for a specific section, though writers are charged with beats and constants in order to make sure many diverse topics are covered. Staff members who are not in leadership positions report to their section editors concerning their beats and constants regularly to ensure that they are covering what they are supposed to. But writers are still allowed a great deal of freedom when it comes to writing articles.

“I love just writing about something really stupid,” Emily Huff, News Editor, said. “I did a high school musical song ranking and it got put in the paper. How awesome is that?”

And indeed, a number of articles that wouldn’t have traditionally been in the paper were able to be posted this year with the new online format. As opposed to the three publications that the Journalism team was able to put out last year, The Bruin Post has been posting new content every two weeks. Sometimes articles are even published between publications according to relevance or if the stories weren’t ready on time.

Writing for The Bruin Post takes a lot of independence and the ability to work toward a deadline. “If you’re looking at journalism,” Mr Walsh said, “ you need to be committed to deadlines. You need to have the ability to get things done in a certain amount of time.”

Indeed, the deadlines are probably the most difficult part of the class. But it’s the staff members that have stayed committed to their deadlines that have shown the most improvement in their writing and craft.

One of the biggest concerns people have when deciding whether or not to take Journalism is the writing aspect of it— the difference in the style. But as Natalie Smith, Managing Editor, put it, “The rules of English are not as important as they are in other classes. It’s a cool way to experience English.”

Mr. Walsh added on to this point, saying, “Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you can’t be good at it.”

For many of the staff members, Journalism and writing for The Bruin Post has taught them a number of new things. “It not only helps you with your writing and English skills, but it helps you to work with a team,” Ellie Crandall, Arts and Entertainment Editor, said. “You couldn’t have any issue with one person. It takes a whole lot of people. This class teaches you how to work with a team and come up with ideas and execute them.”

It is the team aspect of the paper that makes Journalism such a fun class to participate in. It takes a great deal of communication to get the paper going, from writing, to edits, to even interviews.

Preston Thompson, Sports Editor, and a new student to MVHS this year, found this particular feature of the class to be quite enjoyable. “My favorite part has been not only working with people in this class but working with the students at this school and getting to know people better,” Thompson said. “It was cool reporting on people to feel more included and a part of this school.”

The Journalism class is an English elective most often taken by seniors, though MVHS students of all grades are allowed to take the class and participate in writing for The Bruin Post.

For those considering taking Journalism, Raef Macy, Other Editor, has a few words of encouragement. “You should definitely take it,” Macy said. “When you get to write about something you really enjoy, you’re just going to love it.”