Having a first article on the front page builds the esteem of any journalist, and it’s the same for those involved with Scroll. It’s a recognition of their hours of hard work, researching, interviewing and writing content for the publication.
“I was excited,” said Peter Lopez, assistant editor at Scroll and a junior studying sociology. “I told my mom. I took a copy home and saved it as a memento.”
On Thursdays the paid Scroll staff meets, discussing what they can do to improve the publication, weekly assignments, plans for class and, of course, what item goes on the front page of the Scroll.
Each editor presents to the staff what their section has worked on over the past week and what they feel would make a good front page article. These items are then listed and voted on by the staff for the front page. The staff continues to debate over why each article should be presented as a front page article. A vote is then taken.
In the class COMM 397R, Scroll reporters then present to everyone what their article covers, why it impacts those on campus and what would make the article great for the front page. This gives them not only the chance to share with everyone, gaining valuable presenting skills, but also a chance to give their article the edge over others.
After more deliberation, the paid staff, with help from the faculty advisors, approve a front page article, looking at aspects of pickup rate, applicability to the audience and overall article quality.
The photo staff takes photos for the entire paper, but often puts a large amount of work in producing the perfect image for the front page and its article.
“You look at production differently,” said Samantha Vanderwalker, assistant photo editor and a junior studying communication. “You say ‘I’m not just going in to get this done, but how do I make this more visually pleasing?'”
Josh Gervacio, photo editor, said his favorite cover image was for an African American Heritage article. It was of his roommate holding his hands up with “history” written on them. He says it was super cool to have him as well as three of his roommates involved in producing the front page photo.
“I know it’s a big deal to have your photo on the cover,” Gervacio said. “It’s the style involved, it’s completely different than the other work we do. Usually we shoot landscapes, but changing that to vertical orientation is different.”
Once the image, article and headline are finalized, the managing editor along with their assistant place the page in InDesign, and it is then printed 7,000 times and distributed across campus.