MV Viewer – Behind the Scenes

Members of the Viewer editing team from 2019-2020.

Members of the Viewer editing team from 2019-2020.

Johnny Yue, Spread Editor

With The Viewer publishing newsworthy stories to students every month, the school newspaper has become a key component of Mounds View’s identity. As staff writers and editors work on a continuous schedule to shed light on such news stories, some may wonder: What happens behind the scenes in The Viewer?

At the beginning of each cycle of news publications, the Viewer staff brainstorm and outline different article ideas that pertain to the Mounds View community. After organizing interviews and additional planning, the staff writers begin to write the first draft of their article, for which their respective Viewer editor gives feedback and corrections shortly after. Then, the writer completes a second draft of their article which their editors revise into a final draft that is turned in for the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Copy Editor. Interestingly, the specific grammatical rules used when writing articles for the Viewer are different from what is normally expected from your English teachers. “In journalistic writing, we follow AP style, which is a little bit different than what most students are used to writing or reading,” said Print Editor-in-Chief and Business Manager Janae Lee, 12.  “For example, we don’t use the Oxford comma and we have our own specific rules of capitalization or abbreviations.”

Although the article may be the main component of a Viewer article, each page also features the different designs, illustrations and photographs that embellish each issue of the newspaper. “Page editors create their pages using an Adobe software called InDesign,” said Print Managing Copy Editor Natalie Nemes, 12. “Each page has a template with text boxes that are the correct font type and font size, pull quotes that are formatted correctly, etc.” In the past, after pages have been approved by both the Managing Copy Editor and Editor-in-Chief, the Viewer staff would export them to a printing company that mass-produces the copies that are distributed in-person to Mounds View students. However, with school transitioning completely to a remote-learning platform, the Viewer staff have had to adjust. “Currently, because of the pandemic, all of our issues are digital,” said Lee. “The process is pretty much the same in that we finish our pages and export them, except we send the pages to our Online Editor-in-Chief, Alissa, and she posts them on Issuu, an electronic publishing platform.” 

The Viewer has been a way for its staff to get firsthand experience in the world of journalism. Many of the staff have gained valuable skill sets that allow them to write, edit and print articles that highlight the most current news stories. “After joining the Viewer, I started paying more attention to what was happening in the world, and I have been pleasantly surprised,” said Lee. “One thing I realized is that those who are working as journalists really must have a passion for their work and they truly love what they are doing.”

Ultimately, the Viewer represents a part of Mounds View culture that dedicates time and effort in shedding light on the major news stories around the school, state, nation and world. The persistent and steady dynamic of the staff accentuates Mounds View’s willingness to create a tighter community. “I think the fact that we have so many different people on staff who come from different backgrounds and have different ideas about what our final product should look like and what we should write about shows how hard-working students at Mounds View can be,” said Nemes.