After publishing the last issue of last year digitally due to the pandemic, the newsmagazine staff began production of the next edition of The Patriot Post over the summer. With senior Bella Ramirez taking over as Print Editor-in-Chief, this unprecedented time challenged both her and the staff from cover to cover.
The first step in the process entailed narrowing down options for the cover story from which the staff centered the newsmagazine.
“A few ideas stuck out, but the theme revolves around one main thought: how are we going to handle our new normal? COVID already had its lasting effects on how we handle meetings, what fashion is acceptable in the workplace and how we celebrated birthdays,” Ramirez said. “Although not everything will remain once we get a vaccine, COVID-19 will definitely leave a lasting scar on society. We all understood we were going through a metamorphosis of a new normal.”
With the cover story in mind, the staff pulled inspiration from professional magazines like Time Magazine and award-winning student publications like Hi-Lite.
“Layout and design counted as both my favorite and the most dreaded part. Because I wanted to have better spreads, I spent a lot of time on my pages on this issue. Over the summer, I watched a lot of videos on InDesign to help my designing process,” Entertainment Editor senior Emily Anderson said. “While I really loved sketching out my page and seeing it come to life, I did not anticipate it taking as much time as it did to design.”
From there, the staff then focused on the visual element of the magazine itself. As the magazine emphasizes the importance of visuals, Ramirez crafted it with the focus of a new beginning in the form of a sunrise and the colors associated with it.
“I’m really proud of the staff for embracing this. They really knocked it out of the park, she said. “Circular photographs [related to the sunrise theme] are an insanely difficult element to incorporate while maintaining a professional look; our Assistant Editor-in-Chief Zoe Persaud was actually the only staffer brave enough to use this element and her pages ended up being some of the most put-together and well-designed pages in the issue.”
Although graphics compose an important part of the magazine, the “news” part of newsmagazine relies heavily on photographs.
“Getting photos during a pandemic is extremely difficult. I can’t even joke about it. Thankfully, we have wonderful people on staff who managed to safely photograph important events, such as the Davie Black Lives Matter protest, and cooperative interviewees that were kind enough to send in personal photos,” Persaud said.
From the staff, only Ramirez elected to attend school in person, which presented a problem when it came time to layout the cover story about the adjustments to the new school year.
“I had to take all the pictures for the cover, cover story and table of contents. It was a labor of love but because everyone was so thorough, we made this one of the most photo-heavy issues,” she said. “We planned to have a sunrise also incorporated in the cover but instead went with a news photo of senior Serena Saul. Since it was a real photo instead of a completely posed and artistic one, it had a more real impact on viewers.”
In the individual sections (news, opinion, features, entertainment and sports), section editors navigate which articles and visuals go on each page with an idea connecting to the cover story.
“For this sports section, I aimed to provide some clarity as high school sports enters uncharted territory in dealing with the virus through an update on how fall sports were to operate,” Sports Editor senior Sammy Rosenthal said. “I did try, though, to provide some normalcy through a preview of the football team and, of course, the popular yearly fantasy football advice article.”
“Be sure to check out the newsmagazine,” Ramirez said. “It’s vital to do so. We’re essentially the first draft of history. Historians are going to be looking at primary sources like these when they’re covering the exponentially growing chapter of 2020. You should check it out not only to get informed but also to realize your place in history. Plus, there’s something for everyone. And if there isn’t then don’t be shy—tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”