Life in front of the lens

I started out doing Skyline’s weekly updates because one of our other newspaper staff members really, REALLY didn’t want to. And I’m the type of person that if something needs to be done, I will get it done (Just call me Olivia Pope!).

So I started my career behind the camera. I started off my first Weekly Update reporting on sports for the week.

That was my first mistake.

My second was thinking I had to get everything down in one take. Let me just say, this is a lot harder than it seems. It was a shaky start, but I was becoming a part of something.

I learned that it’s much smarter to report on what you know (AKA not sports), and that doing a jump cut (being able to cut together the good footage instead of trying to shoot one perfect continuous shot) will save your life.

And from watching my colleague Miguel, I learned that making eye contact with the camera and not reading from a script is the best way to connect with viewers (even if half of the viewers don’t care, because they are my relatives).

From working with our camera man Will, I learned how to set up different shots (thanks Will!). Another thing, shooting B-roll is a lot of fun. And most of what we shoot ends up in B-roll.

B-roll is the footage that we don’t publish on our website. So lots of singing, dancing, photobombing, and weird inconsistencies in our film. Also, filming the Weekly Updates takes a lot longer than you’d think. It takes at least an hour to film, but we only end up using a few minutes of the footage.

Also, being camera-ready isn’t really a thing. At, least not if you are doing a video that needs on the spot coverage. You gotta film in whatever you’re wearing and just get the news across. The news is always the first priority.

Also, as someone new to the newsroom, it gives you a taste of what being an anchor on a news show is like. You might not have those hard-hitting investigative stories but you are reporting for the people and that is pretty cool.

Basically, doing this was a way for me to get involved and meet new people and it has ended up teaching me a lot more than that. It’s a good experience and learning how to cut together footage is great way to gain some experience for a career in broadcast journalism.

So go watch the videos! And join the newsroom! You’ll be glad you did, I know I am.

Olivia Bowman
TSV Staff Writer

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Taking the chance to be a part of The Skyline View

The year prior to this one, I had given up on school and decided to work full time as a USPS mailman. The money was great, but I didn’t picture myself living the rest of my life that way. No offense to those who have made a living working for the post office, such as my father, but I just felt as if I was cheating myself by settling for the job.

So, I returned to school after spending the semester and summer working. Still undecided on a major, I decided to take a journalism class because I heard how much a friend enjoyed it. Unfortunately as the semester finished, I still had not committed to any major, and again felt as I was cheating myself by settling.

It was just past midnight, making it the early morning of January 20. For many, it would be the first day of the current spring semester at Skyline College. But for me, it was an empty day on my schedule; I had only been registered for two classes. An online lab biology class to meet my lab science requirement and an english class. So, I decided to join the The Skyline View to fill the void in my schedule. I figured it was time to take this seriously.

There I was, walking in as one of the last people to arrive to class, not knowing what to do, let alone where to sit in the newsroom. Returning staffers had their established computers and taken seats, while a few new staffers were able to grab the remaining ones. So I sat in the corner of the room, on a stool, under the white board until we moved to an actual classroom. Even then I sat away from the other staffers.

This went on for a couple of weeks and I was about ready to drop school again to work as a mailman. I was struggling to establish myself in class because I felt that my writing skills were nowhere ready to be published on the school paper. Thankfully one of the beginning staff roles was to be a photographer, something that I’ve always had as a hobby. Still, I feel it wasn’t until I took pictures of the Chinese New Year’s performance that people actually knew what my role was in the class.

If had not taken those pictures, I may still be sitting under the white board not knowing what to do. Funny thing about it was, I wasn’t even assigned to cover the event. I just happened to be there.

I got a couple of pictures in the paper but it wasn’t like everyone was ready to be my friend. It was more like “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” But people started to talk and give me assignments, which was all I really needed. I even got to write a baseball story, but I messed up by not getting any interviews. In fairness our team took a really bad loss that day, but I should have asked anyway, so that I would have quotes for my story.

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) conference was the next chance I had to take photos, and also allowed me the chance to see how other community colleges school’s papers were like. I was told it was going to be competitive weekend, and one of the few things I’m sure of about myself is that I love to compete. More so physical competitions though.

That weekend I got to test myself and I was glad with the outcome but I was sure I could have done a lot better. None the less, just being able to see what I got against others was enough to satisfy and energize me for the rest of the semester.

This might sound like a bunch of random events but it ties together somehow. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad that I took a few chances with journalism, and that I am figuring a lot of things along the way. Or it might actually just be a bunch of random events. I don’t know.

Kevin Perez
TSV Photographer

Taking “Artistic License”

Artistic License is the editorial cartoon of the Skyline View, but more specifically, it is the brainchild of myself and our opinions editor, Steve Perotti. Steve and I both operate under the guideline “if you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing your job right.” That credo doesn’t hold true for news, sports, or features, but opinions, by definition, are subjective. If an opinion is so mildly subjective that it doesn’t elicit a response from those in opposition, then what was the point of expressing it in the first place?

Pondered over days, sometimes weeks, then frantically doodled in the back pages of my binder when I should be paying attention to my day job, the editorial cartoon is the wall against which we nail those too foolish to see their own idiocy.

The criticism of editorial cartoons and late-night comedians should be expected when a person takes a position that grants power, privilege, or public attention. More and more, however, that expectation is being willfully ignored under the assumption that a well-crafted temper tantrum is a perfectly mature and legitimate way for established adults to level a playing field that is already tipped heavily in their favor.

When the cartoon began as an unnamed editorial, I felt the need to tackle larger issues that affected students and young people. Obama, global warming, and rape culture were easy targets. Spending more time on campus gave me a better chance to get riled up about what went on at Skyline in particular, and my second semester featured more cartoons about our school specifically.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that my Obama critique did not get a response, as Obama is probably too busy reading security briefings to pick up a Skyline View. My criticism of our school and its administration, however, got quite a response. One particular cartoon insinuated that many events on our campus are ego-stroking pet projects aimed more at faculty and administrators seeking praise and prestige than at the students who might actually benefit from the events. This message was misconstrued in a very roundabout way as a racial attack, and the cartoon took on a narrative structure during my second semester at the View.

As a proud student of Skyline College, it was difficult to endure week after week of scathing charges that could easily have hurt or ruined the future career and educational prospects of our staff, especially when those charges were being thrown at us from people who didn’t actually understand the true feelings of the person who took personal insult to the cartoon in the first place. To make things worse, the staff of the View found it hard to believe that the cartoon was misinterpreted the way it was, or that the insult that was perceived warranted the amount of blowback that was allowed to persist, unchecked.

The cartoon endured. It had to for many reasons, but mostly because my editor, much of my staff, and I all needed a way to voice our frustration over the treatment of our newspaper staff, not just regarding the aforementioned issue, but on many issues we have between students and faculty/administrators for which the blunt-force trauma of a good editorial cartoon is needed to shake things up.

In my third semester, I let the issues of the past die. I think this was a mistake. To remain professional and mature, I felt it was best for all parties to accept that their voices had been heard. I admitted to myself that, though we had clearly been heard once, we would be misinterpreted, ignored, or spoken over until we changed the subject. So I changed the subject.

But the intention of Artistic License must endure.

Though I, as the wit and pencil pusher behind the cartoon, am on to other things, I am calling for a replacement. Someone as dissatisfied with the status quo as I am. Someone who will commit to being immature enough to draw cartoons with dedication, but mature enough to use that power to say something meaningful. Someone who can weather the ramifications of their work. It’s not about how well you can draw or use Photoshop, but about using a single image to speak a thousand words, and occasionally to be able to write a thousand words to defend that image.

As the physical newspaper slowly fades from our cultural landscape, the political – or editorial – cartoon will have less and less usable real estate whereupon to set its soapbox. Until that day when the last paper goes to print, The Skyline View has space available. All we need is you.

Dave Newlands
TSV Digital Editor

To be the Online Editor or not to be, that is the question?

The decision to change the title for the Online Editor to Digital Editor, was made sometime in the past that has been lost to the ages. But it really started with one question, is there a point of having a Online Editor when we have camayak and the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) can just approve the articles for online publication in place of the Online Editor?

The answer developed slowly, as I was EIC that semester, and by the end of it we had the answer. Yes, we did indeed still need a Digital/Online Editor, because without the position it would fall to either the EIC or a group of staff members which is a problem because it means increasing there workload during the semester. And as student will tell you, more work regardless of the kind it is, is not or ever fun.

If you’re thinking that the Digital/Online Editor just post articles online, well you’re wrong. The job has moved on and expanded over the years to what it is today, the Digital/Online Editor no longer just post articles to a community college website, it has expanded into handling the Google Analytics, managing and designing/updating the website, and depending on the college newspaper handling and directing both the social media and the multimedia section, since both sections are online.

Building on this and going of my experience these last few semesters in the position, it’s a unique position compared to the section editor positions. Where the section editors deal with laying out the print bi-weekly and assigning stories weekly, the online section is different. It’s different because the deadlines are malleable, even though we have set up hard deadlines and requirements for articles, social media, and multimedia.

These deadlines and requirements, we haven’t always meet them but we try our best.

In regards to the workload for the Digital Editor and I’m sure that someone will come along that will be able to handle it, alongside another editor position but we have yet to have a such a person join staff. So until then we’re left with the current, system in place. A system that been working relative well so far, with plenty of room to improve massively in the future, just like multimedia was like when I joined the newspaper.

This is what we discovered during my time as the Editor-in-Chief, so we kept the Online Editor position and updated the name to Digital Editor.

Will Nacouzi
TSV Digital Editor

Launched! The New Skyline View Magazine, Viewpoint

Every semester that The Skyline View has been publishing (over 15 years now!), each staff has left a legacy of some sort, be it growing from a newsletter to a tabloid, or moving the paper to online, or building a stronger multimedia presence, or ramping up its social media presence, or expanding the newsroom. This semester is no different.

Or perhaps it is. Because for the first time ever, The Skyline View has published a magazine, Viewpoint. This is a great leap forward. And of course, with every leap comes risk.

When the editors first spoke to me, their adviser, about doing a magazine, everyone was very excited. After all, for years, staffers have been asking to do a magazine, and now it was finally going to come to fruition. But with no magazine class, no magazine-specific staff, in fact, no real plan at all, it wasn’t going to be easy.

And just because the students were committing to tackle a magazine didn’t mean they could abandon their bi-weekly print newspaper. Or their daily website. Or their hourly social media presence. All of which means it was quite difficult to focus on the logistics of How. To. Get. A Magazine. Out. So, why in the world would an adviser say, “Go for it!”?

Here’s why: Back in 1999, when Skyline College gave me the green light to revive the 11-years dormant journalism program with a single class, news writing, I decided mid-semester that having a news writing class made no sense without having an actual newspaper. So on a wing and prayer, the students started The Skyline View.

That first semester, only two issues were published. They were four-page newsletters, really–far less impressive than the tabloid-sized 12-pagers the students produce every two weeks now (not to mention the daily publishing they do online and through social media).

Had they not pulled the trigger and gone for it, whether they were ready or not, there’s a good chance The Skyline View would not be thriving today. So the logic is this: Start a magazine. Just start. It may not be great. You’ll run into problems. But you’ll find ways to solve those problems. And they did. They figured out how to design pages that are more visual and oriented toward the long read. They learned something about setting up art that lands a strong visual punch. They learned that magazine articles aren’t quick-hit pieces that can be written in a day. And, yes, they learned you have to closely proofread the table of contents.

And you know what? We’ve already put the magazine in the calendar for next year. We’re already thinking about whether or not the college could support a magazine class. We’re already considering how to enter magazine contests.

Sometimes the only way to do something is to jump in. And jump in they did. The result is a great-looking first edition, one they can rightfully feel proud of. Check out their PDF version here.

Nancy Kaplan-Biegel
Journalism Program Coordinator
Adviser to The Skyline View

Team work for the win, as far as handling online goes. Otherwise, it’s just bags of fun and endless joy by yourself

It has been an interesting experience the last couple of semesters as the Online/Digital Editor. Which hasn’t always been fun, but in the end it has been a learning experience when I look back at it all really. I say this because at the end of the day, that what it means to be a part of a community college newspaper.

During my time on staff as the Online/Digital Editor it hasn’t always been easy or fun. When I first started as Online/Digital Editor, I found myself as the only person handling the online (it was nothing new for anyone who has been Online/Digital Editor for the TSV before) and boy that was fun and when I say fun, I mean it was fun because I was the only doing everything on the online side of things for The Skyline View (TSV).

When Spring 2013 rolled something something that rarely happened on staff happened, I actually had help with the online for once. This help was in the form of Shaquill Stewart, who was our Social Media Editor, and Nico Triunfante, our Multimedia Editor. It was odd at first but there help actually made the workload easier.

Since then, we have improved massively in terms of our online but it still needs work. I say this because that semester was the same semester, that we started doing the News Briefs weekly for Spring and Fall. A weekly multimedia project that has benefited everyone involved from weekly host Nico Triunfante, Miguel Garcia, Katelyn Payne, and everyone else who has been part of it over the semesters. Even I’ve learnt from the experience, from writing the script each week to working with the equipment behind the camera.

As seen this semester, this has grown with the addition of Angelica Fregoso, who is a multimedia reporter, and whom has been producing multimedia content for the section throughout the semester. Of course, this even applies to the News Briefs (NB) which has changed since it started.

On the social media side of things, it’s kind of obvious now but I’m surprised that it took this long for us to develop it. Namely we’ve developed two systems for handling the social media aspect of The Skyline View (TSV). The first system we tried towards the end of last semester was granting the section editors access to the TSV social media accounts.

That system didn’t worked out as well for various reason, so this semester we tired another system. One that broke the TSV Staff into social media teams, that would update them regularly throughout the week and the semester. This system has worked much better that the previous semester, with plenty of room to improve on in the future.

In short, it’s not fun when you’re the only one managing more then one position but when you have a team helping with it, the job becomes much easier and fun to do, as it allows you to focus on other areas (not to mention homework and college work) that need the attention of the Online/Digital Editor.

Will Nacouzi
TSV Digital Editor

A look at the now, from the past

Ive been at Skyline College for seven years and on The Skyline View on and off for about six years. I’ve seen people come and go and I’ve seen people go and come back. Honestly, not much has changed here at The View, people change, stories change, ideas, layouts, pictures, and technology all change but the feeling of the newsroom has always stayed the same.

This has always been a place for people to come and work but at the same time bonds are formed here that last years. Some of my best friends I’ve met on the paper and when I come here occasionally I see the same friendships forming among the new staffers. It’s almost like a clubhouse of strangers who come together under a common goal of putting out news to the masses and leave as friends or more. It’s almost like working on the paper brings out everyone’s real self.

They may be peppy or grumpy or quiet but everyone begins to understand each other as the semester goes on. They start to go out for drinks or food, hang out on the weekends or even begin dating. There’s pressure here for work but where isn’t there pressure to do something?

They work hard but in working side by side for what could be 25 hours a week you gain a respect for one another and an appreciation for your “co-workers”. It’s always been that way, you almost can’t help it. There’s another part to it that for some reason seems to occur naturally. Almost everyone that comes in here doesn’t matter their age, race, gender, or experience, everyone seems to be generally cool.

Sure, there are some occasional crazies who disrupt the flow but this room almost attracts similar people who are all different in so many ways but go together so naturally it’s weird. And it’s always been that way, six years now and counting I’ve seen it over and over, mutual respect and friendship forms as naturally as a river going downstream.

Jay Johnson
TSV Editor at Large