News is constantly happening on both the local and the global scale. As the primary source for news in the MVHS community, El Estoque is responsible for constantly producing fresh content in a timely manner — not just on a monthly or even weekly cycle. Because El Estoque is a platform for community members to be more conscious of what is happening, I constantly stay up-to-date with what is happening around me, whether that is subscribing to daily email briefings, constantly refreshing the City of Cupertino website for local updates or even listening in on conversations that are taking place in the MVHS community.
Every Monday, each section holds a Monday Meeting. During this time, section editors listen to the story pitches that each staff writer brings. The entire section works together to refine the pitch before assigning it to one specific section member. The section editors are also responsible for checking in on previously assigned stories to make sure that they are going up in a timely manner. Because it is important to produce content that is relevant, all stories are cut if they are uploaded more than one week after the date of the event. For game reviews, there is a three-day policy — if the story does not go up within three days, it is cut, with no exceptions.
As soon as we finish our Friday late night and send our issue to the printer, we ask everyone on staff to bring three story pitches for their respective sections — one for a multimedia package story, one for a print story and one for an online story. Following the initial pitch sessions, each section shares their story pitches for the cycle in a class discussion. During this time, we discuss how to refine the story pitch by solidifying story angles, make sure that the same story has not been published before in the past and specify potential source ideas. Each story must have at least three sources — one expert source and two student sources.
In the beginning of the year, each staff writer signs up for two beats that they are not a part of to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. Throughout the year, the staff writer is responsible for covering their assigned beats by attending relevant events and interviewing members of the beat.
I have been reporting on Bite Club and MVHS’ Future Business Leaders of America. I regularly check in with club officers to find out if there are any significant events available for me to cover.