Wednesday, November 02, 2005

extra, extra, read all about it

My first three years of high school were spent in a school that allowed the students a great deal of choice in which classes to take and their schedules. It was more like a university than most high schools (at least at the time.)

Due to this flexibility, in the second semester of my junior year, I was able to finish school before noon! One of the things that enabled me to accomplish this feat, was the fact that if you worked on the school paper, it was considered as a class in English (which was required.) I worked as one of the editors of the political section of the paper. The hours were flexible and I could come and go as I pleased.

While now that same paper is done with fancy computer editing and graphics, back then we had to do a lot of the work by hand. We’d send the files (yes, there were computers back in 1989) to the printer, they’d send back us the material, and we’d cut it up and paste it to the boards, and from there back to the printer. Or something like that.

The paper came out once a month, and my favorite day of the months, was just after the paper came out. After everyone had been working hard on writing and editing for weeks, we could now all sit back, relax and review what we had done. And together with the insightful comments, there were a lot of laughs at the mistakes.

(I was to repeat this fulfilling experience years later, when I spent a few months working for the Jerusalem Report.)

Well, I don’t work on a newspaper now, but I have two web sites that allow me to experience it vicariously:

  • Even though I’m not a big fan of Jay Leno, I’ve always enjoyed his Headlines. Every time I remember to go back to his site, I’m always in for a few good laughs. I only wish I still had some of the mistakes from our high school paper to submit…

  • I recently found a new blog, BAGnewsNotes, “a progressive blog dedicated to the discussion and analysis of news images”. While many of the photos discussed relate to issues that I’m either not that associated with or even familiar with, the author and the commenters do a great job of understanding the meaning behind the news photos.