The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The life of a WCC article

Eric Luo (‘25) works on edits for this article. As part of the Webb Canyon Chronicle, he collaborates with other journalists to produce articles through an editing process. “It’s less about instruction or lecturing people,” said Mark Dzula, Director of Teaching and Learning Resources and the adviser of the WCC,. “I try to maintain student-centered structures to allow people of all different abilities, experiences, and interests to find their own success in the newsroom.” The WCC offers many opportunities for creativity and leadership.

Andrew Barrantes (‘25) calls the WCC “an obelisk of truth and a voice for the people.” Tyler Liu (‘25) calls it “the biggest scam since NFTs.” However, despite varying opinions, many students are unaware of the well-oiled machine of keys clacking, Dr. Dzula dancing, and journalists interviewing, which builds Webb’s very own newspaper.  

As such, in this article, you will embark on a journey as a journalist navigating the twists and turns of the WCC production line, seeing how this very article was created. 

Freshly rested, you start a new publication cycle with a session of pitching. The WCC focuses on different types of news media every publication cycle, which range from media stretches to news articles. Dr. Dzula explains that journalists will be writing short articles this cycle for a quick turnaround.  

You have always wanted to do an article about the WCC itself, so you pitch a general focus: an article about the life cycle of WCC articles. 

After pitching the idea, you begin to work on the article. This article had a short time frame of 48 hours for a first draft, so you start interviewing stakeholders right away. 

Interviews are an integral part of what makes the WCC a unique publication. Rather than merely reporting on reporting, you illuminate student and faculty voices by conducting interviews. Do not forget your press pass!  

Your first interview is with Jenny Wang (‘24), the WCC’s Editor-in-Chief and a former Copy Editor, asking her questions and follow-ups about her experiences and philosophy of journalism at the WCC. 

Tyler Liu (‘25)

You interview Jenny Wang (‘24), asking questions about interviews and the journalistic process. Journalists identify “stakeholders,” or people that hold an interest in the topic and write a series of questions to ask before scheduling through email. “For me, personally, interviewing is one of the best parts of journalism.” Jenny said. “You get to form a genuine connection with the interviewee and learn their story and background and amplify their perspectives.” Unlike essay or narrative writing, journalistic writing aims to be as concise, clear, and engaging as possible. Having a good lede or hook is essential, as an article should keep the attention of the reader throughout. 

“Ledes are very important as they set the scene and mood for an article,” said Chloe Wang (‘24), a former staff writer and Social Media Manager for the WCC. “If your lede isn‘t interesting, nobody will read the rest of your article even if it’s amazing. I like to have ledes that have image or motion in them since they are descriptive and produce a fun mental image.” 

Writers also add “gas stations” throughout their articles to replenish readers’ interests –– quotes form an integral part of this

“While writing, we need to build a focus or specific main idea of the article,” said Emily Li, the WCC’s Chief of Media and former Editor of Features. “One of the most important parts of that is incorporating quotes. With a quote from an important stakeholder, you really hear their voice and that adds to the purpose and voice of the article overall.” 

Finally, you capture a photo for the graphic and write a caption. Photos should offer a real-life visual view of the content of an article, and full story-captions contain four sentences of description, elaboration, quotes, and context. 

Phillip Park (‘25)

Tyler Liu (‘25) takes a photo of Eric Luo (25’) interviewing Jenny Wang (‘24), trying to show the energy of an interview. “I don’t like a mere photo of someone staring at a laptop,” Emily said. “Photography is such an important part of the feel of an article, so I would prefer for people to be creative, and really capture the action. We can also add cool effects and photoshop the photos, such as in Kathy and Elena’s recent article about polarization in the United States.” 

The rough draft is now done, but the article is far from set. You submit it to your section editors, who is Leia Albornoz (‘25), the editor of Features, as this is a Features article. 

“A good editor doesn’t insert too much of their voice into the piece but instead asks guiding questions for the writer to dive deeper into the topic and find their own voice.” Jenny said. “I think the main job of the editor is to help the journalist tell their story in the most powerful and concise way possible.” 

There are four rounds of editing: section editor, section chief, adviser edits, and copy editor. With each stage, the article gets polished further, improving clarity and grammar. In the end, the WCC is a collaborative effort, and numerous writers and editors contribute to each article.  

After the first round of section editors, you submit to the section chief, who provides additional edits and guidance through her years of experience. 

Adviser edits come from Dr. Dzula, who not only gives great feedback, but grades the article at this stage. At this point, you have a very well-polished article which reads well and contains the most concise and relevant information. 

Copy editors, such as Kathy Duan (‘25) who graciously edited this article, focus on the grammar and conventions of the article, such as spelling or sentence structure. 

Finally, you publish the article by sending it to Jenny Wang, the current publisher, and it appears on the Webb Canyon Chronicle website.  

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About the Contributor
Eric Luo
Eric Luo, Co-Editor of News
A skilled conductor Eric Luo (‘25) adeptly orchestrates a symphony of diverse talents, weaving together creative writing, music, and culinary arts. This summer, he not only sharpened his writing skills at a Kenyon College creative writing camp but also explored African history at a Stanford summer camp. As a multi-instrumentalist, he is proficient in saxophone and is self-taught in bassoon and piano. He takes this musical passion a step further by creating compositions on digital audio workstations, such as Logic. Alongside his commitment to composing music and writing, Eric is a cooking enthusiast, dedicated to both the scientific and artistic aspects of gastronomy. Eric’s cooking skills venture beyond conventional recipes as he channels his passion toward cheese-making. Driven by his curiosity for food chemistry and biology, Eric started making cheese during the pandemic. While he loves Brie and Gorgonzola, a timeless classic mozzarella is his favorite to create. From his experimentation in culinary science to writing styles particularly in creative nonfiction essays Eric continually challenges himself. This year, he also aims to experiment in the Webb Canyon Chronicle and transition from feature articles to publishing more opinion pieces to foster change by promoting underrepresented points of view in Webb and the world at large.   Favorite Song: "Big Toe" by The Growlers

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