Fall 2009

It’s 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the office of the student-run newspaper The Lumberjack. Layouts, headlines and photos still need to be finalized, and work can sometimes creep into the wee hours. “On election night [in 2008] we stayed until 3 a.m. Some said it was the best issue we’ve ever done,” says editor Sara Wilmot.

  1. Headlines, story leads, photos and layouts were all under discussion just hours before deadline. “Don’t be afraid to take risks,” one reporter encouraged.

  2. Bagels, Cheetos and hot dogs were the fuel of choice when we stopped by. There was also vigorous debate on best doughnut flavors. Lemon won.

  3. The newsroom is one big Apple museum with multiple generations of iMacs in use.

  4. Past issues of the newspaper hang on the wall for inspiration, review — and self-critiquing.

  5. The whiteboard serves as the hub of the action, where story ideas are recorded, organized and approved — or not.

  6. Risk is on hand in case students need to switch gears and try their hand at world domination.

  7. A thesaurus and AP Style Book are a writer’s best friends when it comes to finding the right word and avoiding grammar casualties.

  8. Papers are delivered to newsstands around Arcata by 11 a.m. each Wednesday. Leftovers are dutifully recycled.

  9. High tech meets low tech: Post-it notes prove indispensable for organizing information.

  10. Reporters dread the editor’s red pen marking corrections on their copy.

Finally, the editor announces, “That’s it, guys. Everything is final and edited.” A cheer goes up from the newsroom, but there’s one more step — updating the website, which recently got a new design: thejackonline.org