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Getting all the news fit to print

April 15, 2008|By KELSEY LUCAS and SIDNEY LITTLE / Pulse Correspondents

Have you ever wondered how the newspaper process works? Well, we know!

Every year, eighth-graders from Washington County Public Schools choose a job they might want to do when they grow up. The eighth-graders accompany a worker in that career to get an idea about what the job is like.

The two of us accompanied Herald-Mail Lifestyle Editor Chris Copley as he went through his workday. We saw what most teenagers don't usually see.

We went on a tour around The Herald-Mail's building. There are two distinct parts of the building. The factory part is where the newspaper is printed and processed. It was very loud in this part of the building.

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We saw a rainbow of colors from the paper going through the machine. It was really cool.

On the other side of the building is the office portion. It was pretty quiet.

Here the employees organize and construct the newspapers on their computers.

A lot of reporters and editors were working. There were newspapers hanging on the walls from previous days and weeks. We also saw new and old computers - a lot of them.

We watched Copley who is also the team leader for Pulse, the teen section of The Herald-Mail. He has to organize the Lifestyle section's stories and pages.

Also, he has to proofread the stories written by Lifestyle reporters and by the Pulse team.

Then he sends them back to the authors and they add or remove anything that Copley finds.

We thought the most boring part of Copley's job was having to proofread a lot of stories.

We like reading, but we wouldn't like to go through and check every mistake or everything that needs to be added. But we thought it would be a lot of fun to design the pages, because you could get really creative.

But not too creative.

Copley explained that if you put too much color or too many shapes on the page, then the headlines and stories can be hard to read.

The page would look weird. The colors would be all in your face and just too much.

We spoke to Lifestyle reporter Tiffany Arnold. She was very nice.

She said that when you write a story, you need to think about the readers and if they are going to think your story is boring or not.

Arnold said you would want to read something that was funny and keeps your attention. Maybe you learn from the story without noticing.

We also spoke to Amy Dulebohn, a page designer for Lifestyle.

She talked to Kelsey about graphics and about a program that you can buy and download to your computer so you can make awesome graphics. Dulebohn said that the program was pretty expensive, so it might be hard for an eighth-grader to buy it if she wanted it.

She also showed us different type fonts and ways you can write it or color it. It was really cool and it made Kelsey even more interested in graphics.

At the end of the afternoon, we met with the Pulse team.

There was a bunch of girls. We talked about starter sentences and how to write one to catch readers' attention.

We also talked about different ideas we had for Pulse stories. Kelsey didn't really enjoy the meeting much. Sidney thought it was fun, and she has joined the Pulse team.

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