By Allie Lincoln
“There were a few teachers and classes I had while attending Floyd Central that I see as having been instrumental in getting me going on the path I’m on now, and Jim Lang and journalism definitely fall into that category. The path I took to my current work was at times meandering and circuitous, but writing, interview/conversation, and visual design have always been central to getting me there.
What did you learn from your time on staff?
“Working on the staff was really my first perspective of why time management is so important. We all know that writing a paper and turning in homework have time constraints attached. I knew it before joining the Bagpiper. But working on the newspaper staff was different; it wasn’t just your grade that was at risk, but it was your reputation and relationships with with others that were at risk. If you didn’t do your assignment or task, the paper could look terrible or even worse – miss the print deadline. You don’t want to be the one to let the staff down. At the same time, you can’t do everything yourself. Our best issues were very collaborative and got perspective from the whole team. These takeaways translate to the workplace.”
How has the Bagpiper changed since you were editor?
“Certainly the technology is biggest and most exciting change, especially the online presence the Bagpiper now has. We would have to wait weeks to publish content. That’s laughable now. The drawback with being able to publish nearly instantly is that you have to work insanely fast to verify your sources, content, check grammar, etc. We may not have realized it back then but we had an eternity to correct mistakes before publishing compared to today’s newsrooms.”
What is your most memorable experience from being on staff?
“There are a few things that stand out. But mostly it was the evenings I’d spend after school in the journalism lab with Mr. Lang and the Bagpiper staff, putting together layouts and editing our work from the previous weeks. It was always a sigh of relief and sense of pride and accomplishment after hitting the ‘Send’ button to the publisher.”
What advice do you have for current/future staff members?
“I think understanding and fighting media bias, both within yourself and others on your staff is huge. We are seeing some many media outlets leaning right or left and it’s destroying our society. Being able to take criticism for your work without taking it personal and using that criticism to get better.”
How did your time on staff impact your current life and career?
“Working on the Bagpiper was some of the most challenging and rewarding work from my time in high school. Following the tenets of journalism – being objective, telling the truth, verifying your work, all while being interesting and relevant are incredible foundations in which to grow personally and professionally. These tenets are important no matter whether a person chooses journalism as a career or something else entirely. After college I landed in banking. I am currently a Vice President for a regional bank with a focus on sales and management. I believe that my time spent working on the Bagpiper and honing my communication skills, both written and verbal, have been critical to my success in the workplace.”
Jennifer London: 2007
“My advice for current and future staff members is to give the publication everything you’ve got. Give it your time. Give it your energy. Give it your dedication. Those are the things that have helped build a legacy of journalistic excellence for decades. Even though the medium has changed and evolved, what goes into producing it hasn’t. The staff needs people of all talents with different passions, but what makes it work best is people who constantly want to make it better. Find your niche—whether it’s writing, creating interactive content online, editing, or (my favorite) designing.”
“When I left high school, I went to Ball State with every intention of majoring in journalism graphics. I did design and graphics for the student newspaper The Daily News. I interned at The Star Press and The Courier-Journal. I was made managing editor briefly for the DN. For a variety of reasons, I ended up switching my major to teaching, and I now teach English at Scribner Middle School and also supervise our yearbook and online newspaper. On one hand, my time on staff has lead me to think outside the box with my teaching so that I can give my students more of those “real world” experiences that I had in journalism. It has also pushed me to do more to teach my students how important it is to find something you’re passionate about in school. On the other hand, my time on staff has lead me to embrace my student media kids in middle school in hopes that many of them go on to high school with an interest in taking Journalism 1 or working for the yearbook and newspaper at New Albany High School.”
Darian Eswine: 2012