The Andalusian is Maclay Schools news publication that covers a variety of content to inform, educate, entertain and represent a wide variety of voices at Maclay. As a student-led organization, the Andalusian sets its utmost priority as shedding light on things that matter to the school’s community. The Andalusian not only delivers information, but also unites students and faculty through the joy of learning about the community. Even though the Andalusian impacts a wide body of audience, not many understand what goes on behind the publication and how its content is made.
“We do a kind of work that no one else on campus does, and it is special because we get to learn so much about journalism and how to make our writing better,” Copy Editor Vine Butler said. “We get to make a lot of memories and form a lot of bonds with our classmates that we wouldn’t make in any other class.”
In class, the Andalusian staff plans a budget for each week, which includes article ideas and deadlines. The Andalusian reports news, opinion, feature, entertainment and sports articles. All writers participate in a discussion to contribute their own ideas and have freedom to write about a topic they are passionate about.
“[What motivates me is] definitely how we get to write a new article every week, so I get to learn about a different sports team or a different topic,” sports writer Andrew Berenson said. “Learning about the community and Maclay everyday is interesting.”
Once the budget is completed, writers conduct research, attend necessary events, interview students and faculty on campus. Even though this process may sound daunting at the beginning, this aspect of journalism allows the Andalusian staff to develop a variety of skills that are essential in the real world jobs, including communication, problem-solving and research. It is also during this process that the journalists get involved in the school community and grow their knowledge on things happening around campus, the nation and the world.
“What keeps me motivated is knowing that I’m not just growing as a journalist but also growing as a writer and as a person,” staff writer Laura Zaidan said. “Throughout this opportunity, I’ve been able to improve my writing which has been shown in my English class so far, and I’ve been able to meet a ton of people and have them support me and me support them. It feels like a family.”
After gathering a sufficient amount of information, staff members begin writing articles according to the Associated Press (AP) style guide. The articles go through three rounds of edits – first for the overall structure and flow of the article, second for grammar and style guide and third for any final changes. Throughout the editing process, the writers and editors communicate with each other to help staff members write to the best of their ability each week. The Online Editor-in-Chief Zach Lowe then publishes the articles on the official website (maclayandalusian.com). As the school publication, the Andalusian takes pride in the power of its voice to raise awareness on stories that need to be heard.
“It’s an opportunity to share your thoughts not only with the school but with the world because these articles are being posted on the internet and it has a chance for everybody in the world to read them,” Lowe said. “I want to share my opinion with people around me at Maclay, and I think it’s a really great opportunity for them to share their views and grow their writing abilities.”
In addition to publishing articles online, the Andalusian releases five issues of print newspapers every school year. Print newspapers contain articles with the most relevant events to a chosen theme and the best-quality writing. Although the print season can be the most tedious time for the design team, the final product is what really brings the school together and extends the audience reach of the publication. Starting from about a month before each release, the design team spends most of their time producing creative and captivating graphics that maximize the reader’s experience with newspapers. The print releases are made possible also by the effort of the marketing team, which focuses on selling ads for fundraising. A few weeks prior to a release, the Andalusian staff also posts fun TikTok videos featuring Maclay students to have them looking forward to the next issue. After a period of collaborative effort, the Andalusian finally brings excitement to the entire school with an entertaining record of student lives and voices.
“I think it’s fun having a high position in the newspaper because it’s fun to see how it all comes together, and I feel like no one really knows how hard it is to put together in print, so you’re really in it doing it,” Co-Head Editor Julia Luck said. “Seeing everyone opening it [print newspaper] up and getting to read what we have all written is really rewarding.”
The Andalusian is a place where individuals with different interests and roles collaborate to ensure the best quality of final products presented to the readers. Though it is led by Adviser Allyson Freeland, most of its work is student-led and thus requires a great deal of teamwork. Being in the Andalusian is more than just a regular school club or a writing class; it is a challenging yet supportive environment where all staff members grow their interpersonal skills. Most importantly, it is a place for students to shine their own voices and represent their community.
“The community we have built is really fun,” Freeland said. “I look forward to this class because it can be a little bit more informal, but when we need to buckle down all of you [the Andalusian members] do. We are all there to help each other and we’ve grown together. You bring your own perspectives and your own experiences and it’s just really fun to see such inquiring and inquisitive minds.”