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Thoughtful feature writing is quite challenging although working on a magazine is one of the fascinating experiences. While there is no specific set of preferences which make a person suited for the magazine, it is necessary to learn creative writing skills which are utilized for preparing any story. The past few months have been the most interesting with the opportunity to critique and express thoughts and ideas about varying ideas and stories.
The most thrilling thing about being part of the team which prepares the university magazine is the chance to express personal points-of-view about aspects in the institution. A majority of the students admire the ability to talk, but this is not possible since they lack a platform or an audience. Writing articles for the magazine can be literally about anything from a political candidate to a development on the campus. Ideally, this promotes the freedom of expression which is a fundamental human right. With such an opportunity, it is easy to influence the students to think and act in the desired way. However, one gets to understand that there are specific topics which they cannot feature due to the sensitivity. This prepares one for a real job that they may get later in life.
For the period that I have been part of the university magazine, the most vital issues I have learned is that timing is everything. On the condition that one missed a deadline, it creates a significant amount of pressure on the entire team. If one is late with covering a story, it will cause a delay in the rest of the team which shows lack of professionalism. The sub-editors will have less time to go through the articles, and the graphics team have a limited time to engage creativity. Even the layout designers do not have ample time to know what fits on the page and will also influence the editor to delay approving the final article. On the other hand, there is a good feeling creates when one can submit their work early enough. One overcomes the probability of writing substandard work which may have negative performance on the quality of work and grade.
I have covered several topics about varying topics and fields. One of the articles covered was the favorite nightclubs in Madrid for the students. Through this exercise, I learned that the most popular clubs were the ones located in high-traffic areas, where the staff was friendly, and the drinks were relatively affordable. In another story, I interviewed students who were beneficiaries of the University exchange program which revealed that it had a lot of benefits, particularly regarding the chance to learn about other people’s cultures. I also found it interesting to write about the best restaurants where families and couples can have dinner in Madrid.
There are a set of skills which one learns when working for the magazine. It is paramount for one to interact with people and learn the skills of interviewing and digesting opinions which suit a person throughout their life. Individuals develop soft skills which entail those that can only be learned in practical environments. Sometimes it is not even imperative that one gets the experience relevant to the career one is pursuing. Notably, my skills in communication and teamwork have significantly improved precisely because I had to interact with other team members continuously.
In the course, knowledge about the Five Ws and One H was identified as the secret to efficient coverage of news stories. The theory is helpful when covering actual stories as answering the questions helps a person in getting all the necessary information crucial for preparing accurate reports. Before covering any interview, I prepared the questions based on this theory which assisted me to become an excellent writer and journalist in the university magazine.
To sum up, being part of the university magazine team has been a captivating experience which has helped me to learn and advance skills such as communication and collaboration which are not only helpful in my career but my overall life as well. Preparing stories is an art which requires creativity and strict adherence to deadlines that can only be learned in an active environment such as the one I had.
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