With the current attack on media by President Trump’s administration, it is safe to say that journalism is still one of the most overlooked and undervalued civil liberties within society as a whole. Its power to persuade different political views, report injustices within the legal system or force a presidential election is insurmountable power and just a few examples of the few powers journalists have.
When I first started as a freshman journalist, I was an editor’s worst nightmare. I did not pick up on editorial writing or basic news writing, could not take photos, and was abysmally unsociable. This was my first experience with true failure as it had been the first real challenge I had faced in my educational career. Through this challenge and failure though, I have shaped myself into a leader -- a person I could have never imagined to be.
Staff writer Suncana Pavlic her freshman year on the ODYSSEY Newsmagazine at the an ODYSSEY bonding opportunity to strengthen the community and relationship between staff writers and editors.
I made an effort, as any journalist should do, to stay up to date with current events allowing me to find my niche in writing editorials that year on global crisis and issues, such as the Ebola Virus and Native American oppression -- issues needed to be shared with my audience at Clarke Central High School.
After that year, I decided to reapply and was moved out of the print staff and placed onto the ODYSSEY Online staff. After a short while, due to my work ethic I became the Web Master -- it was an entry-level editor’s position and I posted all content onto the website. But that was just the start of a rebirth for me. Being on the web class, I was able to create more, design more, and garner my journalistic endeavors in a more artistic approach. I took up creating multimedia.
Suncana Pavlic was the ODYSSEY Online Web Master for the 2015-2016 school year. In this position, she was required to post all content to the website and create multimedia.
This is where it all changed. Web and I just clicked.
The ability to create timelines, thinglinks, google maps, storifys, soundclouds, and mainly infographics allowed to finally mesh the connection between design and writing that I was looking for.
Through these creations, I also started teaching myself Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to improve my designs and individualize my multimedia. Now, I create illustrations regularly for staffers articles and design advertisements and the new ODYSSEY Online logo.
I discovered my area of expertise within the ODYSSEY publication and my first real successes within the program and so finally came a sense of confidence. Through my growth in this area, I have given presentations at several conferences in this area.
The ODYSSEY Media Group editorial board were given the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis, IN. for the National Scholastic Press Association conference in mid-November. Digital Managing Editor alongside Editor-in-Chief Aneesa Conine-Nakano and Advisor David A. Ragsdale presented a presentation on multimedia storytelling.
This led to me taking on a larger role within the journalism class and allowed me to move on into my current position: Digital Managing Editor. In this position, I help facilitate a productive workroom environment, help update the website and edit most articles written.
Even though I have geared my journalistic career to focus more on the website design and interactivity and away from writing, it allowed me to grow as a leader and teacher. It has allowed me to help students develop as designers and find a more artistic path within their journalism pursuits as I have. Hopefully, this is giving other students the opportunity to explore more options within their careers through different lenses within the field creating a more inclusive environment.
Screenshot from Digital Managing Editor Suncana Pavlic's "Hot Topics" infographic series.
Through the designs and multimedia, still my main goal of course in to inform my classmates and audience as all journalist goal should be. I currently create a series of infographics called “Hot Topics” that share brief information on the top world news stories in hopes to inform my seriously uninformed high school audience about what is going on within our community state and world.