What it Takes to Be an Adviser

A publication cannot function on its own–it requires endless teamwork, support and most importantly, an adviser that can hold everyone together during hard times.

Advisers and their publication staff from across the United States met at the annual Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association convention to discuss and share ideas.

“When writing a newspaper, making a yearbook or making a movie, you’re demanding people’s attention for hours,” Brooks Institute representative Bruce Postman said. “What do you do to get their attention? You gotta have something to say.”

Once a staff organizes its ideas, they need to put it down on paper and begin planning.

“An adviser needs to know it’s all about creating images that demand the attention of a reader and using text that tells compelling message. You also have to have something to see. A premise. A theme. Something to say. I think that’s the seed all Publications or anything grows from,” Postman said.

Julie Goldstein is the newspaper and yearbook adviser at Green Valley high school. She organizes after school and weekend work sessions before deadlines.

“You have to be very organized, manage different things happening at the same time, be flexible and be patient,” Goldstein said. “Be willing to learn new information to get new ideas. If you’re open-minded, you’ll constantly want to grow or be better.”

Usually, the staff brings food to each work session. Goldstein also organizes a potluck after their deadline is met. At Whitney High, yearbook editor junior Hanan Bagic and her coworkers enjoy pizza during work sessions.

“My adviser is very understanding and she’s good at giving directions and making things clear. While we’re there, she’s keeping us focused, but it’s not 100 percent serious. She allows us to make our own environment. It makes the work sessions more fun and less stressful.” yearbook editor junior Hanan Bagic said.

During the production cycle, multiple designs, layout, copy and photos must be edited. Advisers help plan elements and establish deadlines.

“Patience is also needed to get through the hard and stressing times. In order to cooperate with your workmates and bring the organization together, everyone has to work together and support each other,” Abraham Lincoln high school publications adviser Gerry Appel said. “I bring my students to conventions to give them a lifetime experience and a new perspective on writing.”

Written by Phillip Leung, staff writer

Video and Photos taken by Jessica Huang and Annie Li, staff writers