The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Virus shuts down newsroom

illustration+by+Amber+Davis
illustration by Amber Davis
illustration by Amber Davis

linda puga
campus editor

global pandemic took student journalists at The Collegian by surprise as they watched the country turn upside down the second week of March. Everything about their beloved school newspaper’s production was about to change. 

Like many others, former Editor-in-Chief Jill Bold found the job harder than ever before, especially doubling in roles as a mom to a highschooler and toddler. Hearing about the transition from in-person to online after having worked at the paper since August 2019 left Bold shocked and bewildered. 

“It was the first time in Collegian history we were not going to have printed newspapers,” Bold said. 

The Collegian celebrates 32 years in print this year. With new challenges to endure such as duplicating their newsroom, the paper continued publication online right away, not once missing a weekly edition. 

Bold went on to talk about the steps the staff took to get through the transition. Photographers continued their work by getting pictures while maintaining social distance and wearing masks wherever they were. The interactive Copy Control sessions among the editorial staff continued through Zoom meetings, and WhatsApp was used among the staff to work on story edits. 

Bold added the struggle the team had with no longer having stories revolve around events taking place on campus. Stories in The Collegian along with every newspaper in the world were taken over by COVID news and headlines. 

However, through their setbacks, Director of Student Publications Christopher Whitley believes they overcame their obstacles and broke new ground. Whitley and adviser Jocelyn Tatum supported the staff and team through it all, aiming to continue to run the publications for the college audience given all circumstances. 

“Don’t let all of this stop you from getting the job done,” Whitley said. 

Through it all, they persevered even while missing memorable events such as the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference and their graduation commencement. 

For the design aspect of the newspaper, production manager Stacy Luecker made sure the production team continued the process smoothly by transferring their production files and photos to Google Drive when the outbreak first occurred to continue their work, as well as adding communication through many video calls. 

Luecker mentioned the added use of the digital platform “ISSUU” was used for the accessibility of the paper as well as works of an e-newsletter, both utilized for increased circulation. 

“In some ways students are more creative,” Luecker said. 

Bold advises the incoming Collegian staff of the importance of communication, staying in touch, and engagement through social media for story ideas, virtual events and breaking news. 

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