The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

An inside look at the Pitch

Editorial+Board+members+lead+a+storyboard+meeting+where+all+members+of+the+Pitch+share+an+idea+for+an+article.+I+like+storyboard+meetings+because+its+so+awesome+to+see+so+many+different+ideas+that+all+connect+to+the+WJ+community%2C+Senior+Feature+Editor+Lily+Fisher+said.
Zoe Ottenritter
Editorial Board members lead a storyboard meeting where all members of the Pitch share an idea for an article. “I like storyboard meetings because it’s so awesome to see so many different ideas that all connect to the WJ community,” Senior Feature Editor Lily Fisher said.

The WJ Pitch is not just a school newspaper, but a community within the student body that is particularly special. Made up of an editorial board, editors, writers and specialists who all join to form the functioning class that supplies the school with a well-thought-out newspaper. Though to some, it might seem like just a class, so much effort and heart goes into it, more than most would understand.

“The people you meet here are people you would maybe just pass by in the hallway, but here, you get to know them. The people are so different, diverse and they all have something amazing about them that brings them together, and it is really awesome to experience,” junior and Print Editor-in-Chief Seyun Park said.

One special part about The Pitch is the community among the staff and the special bond shared. So many people stick to their friends and often don’t branch out of who and what they know. But within The Pitch community, everyone brings something new and interesting to the table. The friendships made extend outside the classroom and even outside the walls of WJ. And while it brings new people together, it also strengthens existing relationships.

“My sophomore year, first semester I was in the same class as my older brother. What was really unique about that was that all of Pitch was in one class that year. This let me work closely with my brother both doing things we love,” senior and Print Editor-in-Chief Rachael Wolfson said.

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In producing the Pitch itself, every cycle, online or in the print newspaper, the Pitch holds story board meetings where everyone pitches ideas. The collaborative environment makes for rich and diverse story ideas to be shared. Everyone must take a story and meet the deadline to be given credit. The process starts with a story board meeting and then goes into the writing, editing and publication process. With a staff of over 50 people, The Pitch is held among two different periods, which can lead to many obstacles.

“More broadly, I think one of the bigger challenges is [that the] Pitch is such a big organization […] We are in two sections this year and communication across those two periods is essential. When you don’t have clear communication, stories could be taken by more than one person and written twice” Park said.

With communication being important there are also many deadlines and certain dates that need to be met. One huge part that many students don’t know about is press. There is a three-day period where print editors work together using Adobe InDesign to craft pages for the print versions of The Pitch. This is when deadlines are the most important and if missed, can derail the whole process. The process often includes numerous last-minute adjustments that can be very chaotic and have a lot of moving parts. It takes place not just during class and lunch but also after school.

“There is a lot of collaboration that goes into the Pitch, especially in press. Everybody has different ideas and has to agree with their fellow editors while working under strict deadlines. The most important thing is to plan ahead, if you don’t things can get really chaotic and crazy,” Wolfson said.

Beyond print editors, there are many different roles and positions that exist to ensure the Pitch runs smoothly. No matter what position people hold, everyone adds value to the space. The class is led by the Editorial Board which is made up of editors-in-chief and managing editors, both for print and online. They are experienced leaders in the Pitch community and often have been involved for many years.

“This is my third year on The Pitch. My first year was as a sophomore. I started as Print Opinion Editor as well as my junior year and now I am a Print Editor-in-Chief,” Wolfson said.

In addition, one big role that many overlook is the social media management position. This role is shared among a small group of students to make sure information is spread out to the student body. Teenagers get most of their information from social media, and The Pitch uses that outlet to engage the student body. Typically the social media managers check the calendar and see what they need to post that day. From there they create content and post to the desired social media platform.

“I love working with my team members on the social media management team because we all bring new ideas to the table and make for a diverse range of content,” senior Social Media and Marketing Manager Kate Kreisle said.

The Pitch is an organization with a main priority to write and inform WJ about what’s going on in the school and county. There are so many additional things that come from it. The people and bonds are one of a kind and have formed a strong community within the school. Many overlook the hard commitment it takes to be on the Pitch and the friendships shared among the writers.

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About the Contributor
Zoe Ottenritter, Online Feature Editor
Senior Zoe Ottenritter is thrilled to be apart of the Pitch as an Online Feature Editor. This is her first year on the Pitch but also enjoys hanging with friends and watching reality TV!
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