Cranking Out the Chronicle
Behind the scenes with our Beckman Chronicle Editorial Staff as they are busy with the first edition of this year’s magazine
December 16, 2019
New year, new magazine!
The Beckman Chronicle is back with a new edition of the magazine, but this year, there have been some changes to the magazine production.
We are now a club! Rather than producing the magazine in the Journalism class, we are producing the magazine as an independent club with a new editorial staff lead by the Editors-in-Chief are seniors Cynthia Le, Leena Shin, April Wang and I. Our advisor is Mr. Boice, who is also the advisor for the Journalism class. While we kept the Beckman Chronicle name, the Chronicle is not affiliated with the Beckman Beat, but the Beat does outsource articles into the magazine.
Since the Chronicle is a club, the structure of the team is a little different this year. Traditionally, the Editorial Staff of the Journalism class would split up the responsibilities of creating and getting the content for the magazine. However, we don’t have an Editorial Staff at hand, so we decided to create three teams with specific roles ‒ the content team, design team and photography team ‒ and have our former Journalism students take upon editor roles to oversee the teams. We also have a new role, the publicist, who is responsible for social media and publicity.
The content team is led by junior Rachel Ker and senior Allison Perez. They responsible for generating unique content ideas for the magazine and gathering all the information. The design team is led by junior Ivanna Tjitra and me, and this team is in charge of creating the designs and pages for the magazine. Lastly, we have the photography team that takes the aesthetically pleasing photos that make the magazine look stunning.
The magazine production has always been some sort of “closed” operation behind the Journalism class doors, but we want the Chronicle to be more connected with the students. So here we are: behind the scenes with the Chronicle Editorial Staff!
Log 1. October 18, 2019
The announcement of the new Editorial Staff. We had an application process for the different teams, and after a long process of reviewing everyone’s application, we had chosen our new members.
The content team: sophomore Angela Zhang, juniors Kyle Hur and Daniel Kang and senior Catherine Cui.
The design team: sophomore Audrey Wong and seniors Helen Quach and Vienna Yung ‒ who is our illustrator.
The photography team: sophomore Nora Salem and senior Kareena Narula.
And finally… our publicist, senior Ishan Sharma.
A group of talented students, we are ready to start cranking out the magazine!
Log 2. October 22, 2019
Official first meeting!
During lunch, we had everyone come in and meet each other for the first time ‒ or if they knew each other, a happy reunion.
While everyone was talking, April, Cynthia, Leena and I were setting up the welcome presentation. We introduced ourselves, had everyone introduce themselves, went over the responsibilities of each team and our expectations and then discussed the agenda for the magazine production. Since we had about a month to produce the magazine, which is significantly shorter than normal, we asked them to have moodboards done by the following Monday. A moodboard is a board of creativity ‒ a place to put down theme ideas, color choices, fonts, ideas for the magazine and pictures used as references for inspiration.
After our presentation, we did a quick team bonding activity I had planned. I divided the staff into two teams, and the purpose of the activity was to see if everyone remembered each others’ names. The two teams lined up, and the person in front would have to name everyone in the opposing team. After he or she was done, the next person would do the same and so on. The first group to cycle through everyone would get a prize ‒ within a reasonable budget, of course.
The prize? Pizza for all at our Monday meeting, since the winning team was generous enough to spare the losing team pizza as well.
Before everyone left, we had everyone sign up for Slack, the main place for us to communicate and share attachments without it being compressed.
Log. 3 October 28, 2019 – November 1, 2019
After school, we discussed our moodboards by borrowing Mr. Beilin’s room. I bought pizza from Costco for everyone, so it was an eat-while-we-discuss meeting.
One by one, our staff went up to present their moodboard ideas, and we went over what we liked about the moodboard and discussed the ideas that we wanted to use in the magazine. I jotted down everything on the whiteboard, so we could keep track of the ideas people had brought up.
After everyone presented, we went over the ideas on the board and chose the theme and a couple of ideas we could use for the magazine. Our theme will be kept a secret for now, but Helen came up with it! The theme is different from what we have done in the past, but it will definitely look nice printed.
Two days later, the Editors-in-Chief later compiled a list of all the content ideas on a Google Doc and sent it out to everyone, having them sign up for the pages they wanted to do. They created a layout sketch of their pages and then presented it to the rest of the staff on Friday. After that meeting, everyone set off to complete their own pages, working with each other to get their part done.
The content? Here is a quick preview of what will be coming in the magazine:
- Holiday Recipes
- Advice and Study Tips
- Comics and more…
Now, it is time to get the magazine done.
Log n. November 11, 2019
Staff photoshoot for the magazine!
We will be doing a “Meet the Staff” page in our magazine where you get to know us a little bit more, which meant we need photos
of us for that page. After figuring out what place could somehow connect with our theme, we settled down with Beacon Park and set the date to Veterans’ Day when we did not have school.
Setting the meeting time at 9:30 a.m., we had hoped to escape the sun, but unfortunately, the sun was already shining brightly over our heads by the time everyone had arrived. Each team chose a different location of the park to take our group photos, and while one group took photos, the rest of us had fun ‒ hogging the swings from little children, doing TikTok dances or simply sitting and talking. So not only was it a staff photoshoot, but it was also an informal team bonding event!
Log n+1. Miscellaneous Dates
While we are having lots of fun creating the magazine, the past few weeks have been a rigorous schedule of trying to reach out to interviewees and models, scheduling photo shoots, gathering the necessary content and more. Each team had to work together to organize the pages: The design team needed the content team to finish their part in order to design the layout, and the content team needed to coordinate with the photography team to get quality photos.
On the other hand, we, the Editors-in-Chief, were also working on our own pages, such as the Letter From the Editor ‒ which you will be able to read when the magazine is published ‒ and a photo collage of memories from the semester.
We’ve even had a few setbacks. Due to time restraints, we had to take out the food review page, even though that was one of the most popular pages, and replace it with something else. We also had to reschedule things many different times, which also delayed the process. Despite the short amount of time we have, the staff is working hard every day to finish the magazine.
So what do our staff have to say about magazine production so far?
The content team:
- Angela ‒ “We were given a lot of flexibility in choosing what we wanted to do for the next issue that’s coming out, and that really encouraged me to pick something that I was interested [in] and enthusiastic about pursuing. I picked holiday recipes, which were fun for me to research and then follow with my two group members because I’ve always enjoyed baking, especially when this festive holiday season is just around the corner. Overall, the Beckman Chronicle staff are all very talented and delightful people that I’m really looking forward to working with for the rest of the school year.”
- Daniel ‒ “It has been a rewarding experience being a part of the editorial staff for a magazine that the whole school is going to read. With various deadlines and time-intensive weeks, I had a lot of responsibility as a staff member, but I would definitely say it was all worth it because of our supportive team members.”
- Kyle ‒ “Being a staff member has been a different experience, to say the least. I’ve mainly worked with smaller groups in the past, so working in a larger group like this is different for me. Nevertheless, I still found it to be enjoyable. From brainstorming ideas with the group, constantly communicating with Daniel with our ideas for the tips portion, asking around for a sophomore who could be featured in the tips portion, and interviewing both students and teachers, I was able to interact with a large array of people in less than a month.”
- Catherine ‒ “I really learned the importance of communication and being [on] the same page as your group mates. There were setbacks, such as when we had to scrap our idea for food reviews, but overall it’s been very rewarding.”
- Rachel ‒ “The fashion page is always fun because you get to work with people who have [a] really cool style and creative ideas. We did our photoshoot this past weekend and the models were super sweet and we came up with a lot of cool picture ideas and poses! So far, it has been so much fun being a member of the staff because I get to be a part of creating a magazine that will no doubt turn out really neat. It feels really good when you see the end result and know you did something to help contribute.”
- Allison ‒ “Personally, I love being a part of the Chronicle. The Chronicle has changed drastically since its initial release in my sophomore year, but I think that so far we’re doing pretty well. This year, I’m an editor for both the content and photography teams, which is really different for me since I hadn’t had such responsibilities in the magazine before. A lot of things have changed with the Chronicle, but they only seem to be good so far.”
The design team:
- Audrey ‒ “It’s been really enjoyable being able to collaborate with others on the magazine, and I had a lot of fun interacting with the rest of the team. I worked with Vienna to design the comics and memes, and we will be working with the other teams to design the page layouts later on.”
- Helen ‒ “So far we’ve each created moodboards for the theme that we wanted to be used for the Chronicle. My theme was chosen, so I was super excited! I was in charge of designing the layout of the fashion and tips spreads. It was really fun creating the designs for each page as well as positioning the type and pictures.”
- Vienna ‒ “My experience as a member has been positive as I’ve been able to incorporate digital art somewhat daily. Also, it has made me laugh more due to the comics that I created.”
- Ivanna ‒ “Everyone truly [wants] to make the best magazine they could, and they [are] all pretty excited to start formulating ideas and working together. We experimented with certain ideas and worked around each other. At the end, we all just wanted to create a magazine we’re all really proud of and our progress so far has shown our determination.”
The photography team:
- Nora ‒ “I’m really proud of the work done so far [as] I was one of the photographers for the fashion spread, and it was so much fun! It was something new I got to do since I’ve never done that kind of [photography], but I loved experimenting with the different areas of the park and the people. Kareena and I work really well together, so I love that we’re able to collaborate well.”
- Kareena ‒ “I really love being a photographer for the magazine because I get to work with everyone on the team and express my creative side as well. I had so much fun with the fashion photoshoot, especially because Nora and I had to get in all these funny poses like laying on the floor just to get the best picture possible. Overall, I loved meeting and working with my teammates and I hope I get to experiment more.”
And, lastly (again), we have our lone publicist. “My experience as a member of the staff has been great!” comments Ishan. “Being part of a group of people who enjoy the same things as me has been an awesome experience so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
The magazine would not have been possible without the Editorial Staff. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, we are able to push forward with the production.
The Beckman Chronicle is made for the students, and we never intended to keep the inner workings of the Chronicle a secret. Hopefully, this behind the scenes gave you an insight into what we have done so far.
While this year has definitely been the year of major changes, we have adapted to make the Chronicle better and improve from the years before.
“Managing a student-run publication is no easy feat, especially when we’re trying to represent such a diverse and large student body,” comments Cynthia. “However, I feel like we did a pretty good job this edition to incorporate more student opinion and create spreads that would interest various groups.”
We have a lot to learn for the magazine production, but the experience is rewarding.
“It’s interesting to lead a group of eager editors after occupying the role of contributor and editor before,” says April. “It’s a role reversal, and, although the production process is stressful, it’s good to know that the whole team is in the same boat with a supportive sense of understanding of our collective stress.”
We really strive to make the club a lively working environment. As we are essentially our own press, we place emphasis on creating a strong connection with each other.
“Everyone on the team is really cooperative, fun and outgoing, and everyone is also really inclusive,” remarks Leena.
I am happy to say that the past crunchtime month has really strengthened our relationships ‒ to the point where everyone is comfortable roasting me, unfortunately. But, after all, the better the connection, the better the magazine.
Look out for our magazine in the classrooms in early December!