If the Tiger Times newspaper is the successful older sibling who has their life together and has long since been an independent adult, Tiger Times Online (TTONL) has always been the slightly confused but adventurous and innovative younger sibling who is just starting to find their path in college. As naive but ambitious students preparing for the transition from high school to college, from adolescence to adulthood, TTONL feels like a childhood friend we’ve grown up with side-by-side. From the times we struggled through Lynda.com Indesign videos in the freshman Introduction to Publications class, to serving as Editors-in-Chief of a blossoming digital production, we’ve learned a lot and want to share a bit of TTONL behind-the-scenes.
TTONL is amazingly flexible. Unlike the paper, articles don’t have a strict word limit and sections don’t have a strict article limit. If we have a typo on the title of a featured article, we can change it within a minute. But this is just the beginning of what the website can do. Starting from the masthead to individual posts, the website boasts rich multi-media such as beautiful galleries and in-depth video features that are all a step outside a traditional newspaper. In all honesty, this flexibility can be a bit daunting. It’s like gaping at the never-ending rows of luscious ice-cream flavors with only a single cone in your hand. But when picked right, projects like last year’s Typing Contest are born which successfully integrate the interactive elements of the website with student interest. Flexibility requires extra thoughtfulness and creativity and we’ve still only gotten a taste of the possibilities, but each year TTONL becomes more hands-on and diverse.
Another aspect unique to TTONL are the drastic theme changes we have each year. These theme changes aren’t just thoughtless fickleness. With each exchange of leadership comes new visions–visions that are best manifested in the website’s theme. Choosing a new theme is not as easy as a few clicks. It requires extensive research that takes affordability, compatibility, and style into consideration. Done wrong and the new theme could crash the school’s official website as well. When the transition is finally over, however, it feels incredible to see your ideas come to life, every detail from the fonts to the front page tailored to your vision. Some leaders like a classic, scrolling style while some prefer vibrant colors and block categories, but each period leads to more progress.
Finally, something every member of Tiger Times can confess to is the significant time commitment. We’ve spent countless hours staring at the loading bar slowly inch toward 100% for each article, photo, and video ever published. Each editor has faced censorship which forced them to perhaps delete a few sentences, add more information, or completely rewrite the article on a different topic. After rewriting almost every single opinion piece in sophomore year, we’ve learned a lot about expressing one’s opinion in a persuasive yet eloquent and captivating way, and this knowledge extends beyond the borders of the pages to any field imaginable. For all the time we’ve invested into TT, we’ve reaped back the invaluable skill of articulate communication.
Even if our readership or quality isn’t quite to the level of the New York Times yet, we’re definitely on the right path. We hope the articles we churn out each month have inched a path into your high school life, whether it be laughing at the surprisingly didactic quote of your goofy friend or experiencing the PyeongChang Olympics through the lens of our reporters. We are truly honored we could serve as the voice of the student body for three years and can’t wait to see what TTONL will look like in the coming months. Thank you and good luck!
Soomin & Nicholas.