The Jag Journal is the student-run paper from Segerstrom High School. They established the virtual paper in the 2019-2020 school year. First established as a club, the journalism class has come a long way and is ready to continue to push their boundaries.
The school year has begun and everyone has been trying to get situated amidst the global pandemic. Though a confusing and quite chaotic year, The Jag Journal has remained resilient and enthusiastic through it all.
“It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure. But, I understand the need to work and attend school in a safe environment… It has also been difficult connecting with students virtually. I miss being able to check-in and interact with my students in person. But, on the other hand, I have really enjoyed using the chat function in Google Meets. I have so many students participating in [the] chat…I guess I am trying to make the most out of the situation, and I’m still trying to be the same teacher students have come to know in person,” explained Mrs. Conferti, English teacher and advisor to the Jag Journal.
Their advisor, Mrs. Conferti, began leading the class in 2019. Through her vision, she was able to change the class toward a different path. She went fully online and changed the course of the class.
“Shifting trends required that I provide students [with] skills for the future of journalism. It just made sense to take The Jag Journal online,” noted Conferti.
As stated before, changes were made and the environment of the classroom has changed for the better. Since the class consists of new journalism students and returning ones, Mrs. Conferti decided to create “two routes of learning and a mentorship program.” Basically, returning students would be able to have the chance to guide new students and the first years would have the opportunity to learn the same information as well as be more prepared to write stories.
“It is really important for The Jag Journal staff members to connect with each other…Last year was my first year advising the program, and I learned many lessons that helped me make adjustments for this year… So, even though many changes have happened, The Jag Journal is going strong and plans to thrive despite this virtual environment,” Conferti stated.
Today, the new editorial board hopes to help lead the class as well as anticipate changes and lend a helping hand. They have collaborated with one another and have a strong belief in cooperation. They all work closely together and continue to help get the class started by trying to think of ideas on how to continue to improve the newspaper and class.
“Now, we are many weeks into this school year, and our new editorial board has convened meetings and are preparing to launch this year’s newspaper. I feel all the struggles have been worth it. I look forward to seeing how our staff supports our Segerstrom community,” expressed Conferti.
The new editor-in-chief is junior Avery Ngo. She was the web editor last year and helped the transition online go by smoothly. Her skills have made her a strong leader who has many different abilities that help her elevate the team. Ngo is excited for what is to come for The Jag Journal, hoping to leave a prominent footprint in the building blocks.
“I feel very honored to have been selected, and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to continue The Jag Journal’s legacy. I hope to make my own mark on the program this year,” revealed Ngo.
Many additions have been made to the team in regards to positions and responsibilities. Three new positions were made available: copy editor, managing editor, and photo editor. The rest of the editorial board consists of section editors (news, features, opinion, arts and entertainment, sports). Alexa Perez, a senior, has undertaken the role of copy editor and has responsibilities such as managing social media accounts, editing, working with the managing editor, etc.
“Being copy editor is honestly such an honor. I love working with all the students and helping them improve their writing skills, especially since I was once in their position. After four years in the class, I’ve gone from a staff writer to OP/ED editor and have even been editor-in-chief. Copy editor is a new job for me and I can’t wait to get more experience from the job,” Perez stated.
The editorial board is excited for new students to start writing and publishing their stories. Soon, the team will be in full force writing and publishing stories. Journalism students want to be able to keep their audience informed as well as entertained, give them articles to digest and think about, hoping to make their audience come back to the website.
“I am quite excited about the future of the Jag Journal. We are fortunate enough to have an amazing staff this year and a dedicated advisor who is willing to guide us through the process. I cannot wait to see the quality and types of stories that we produce because we do have such a diversity of voices. I am hoping to expand our audience and increase our following,” Ngo declared.
Mrs. Conferti affirmed, “I want journalism students to learn about all aspects of the industry to have the skills to work in the professional world. I want students to work together as a team to create something of value together and hopefully gain confidence in their own abilities.”