Organizing photos for most yearbook staffs means categorizing them, placing them in a large envelope and then throwing those envelopes into a big box. When a photo is needed, a search ensues, first for the right envelope and then for the photo mixed in among all its counterparts.
My mind was firmly entrenched in the third paragraph when my name was called. “Not now,” I whined as I scurried to finish an article in People magazine before having my teeth checked. Of all the days for my dentist to be on schedule! I had just found the ultimate story – an intriguing topic covered from an unusual angle and including a smattering of opinion, as well as multiple methods of reporting the facts.
The old saying is that a good story will write itself. That is a myth. Really good stories, regardless of the topic, are the result of a focused angle, in-depth interviews and a creative writing style. Take a look at the following two examples of a personality profile written about a high school custodian. Although they were both written about the same individual, they were obviously the result of different reporting styles.
It can be called alternative, quick-read or reader-friendly. But the one thing non- traditional copy cannot be called is easy.
It was during our third deadline last year that it became painfully clear to me that if I had to read another boring yearbook story, I was going to – kill myself? No, that would have been too drastic. I was going to take a break and go to the lounge for a snack or two? No, the same boring stories would be on my desk when I returned.
Two Walsworth customers, Bill Hankins, publications adviser at Oak Park High School, Kansas City, Mo., and Susan Massy, yearbook adviser at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Shawnee, Kan., have earned the prestigious Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association.
For yearbook journalists, a primary objective is to tell the complete story of the year and infographics are an effective method of increasing in-depth coverage.