Welcome to a new year of WiNK!
By: Luc Parr
As you all receive WiNK in your inbox for the first time of the school year, some of you may be wondering, "what is WiNK?" Others may be familiar with reading the publication, but don't necessarily know how the content is generated.
For some background, the official founding of WiNK is unknown, but in the 2014-15 school year, there is a record of WiNK's first release. Before that, the school newspaper was a physical copy handed out on campus. In 2015-16, Mr. Byrnes hired Mrs. Thaler to teach Journalism, and WiNK became a weekly online publication. Now in the 8th year of this format, WiNK is the product of two Upper School elective classes: Advanced Journalism and Journalism. The advanced class is filled with students who have taken either class before, while the other course is mainly for new journalism students. These students write articles, make videos, and create weekly content that is distributed to the entire Wooster community through an email every Friday. So if you are new to the Wooster community, we hope you will learn a lot about what's happening on campus and our teachers and students through WiNK.
Molly, Sloane and Elise recording a WiNK video last spring
Throughout the week, I interviewed students who take Journalism courses, including first-year advanced Journalism student Bryan Tenesaca (Sophomore), first-year Regular Journalism student Jack Zahner (Junior), and long-time Journalism students Presley Damiano and Katherine Breene (both Seniors). I questioned them about their experience taking Journalism thus far, and each interviewee had different thoughts on the class as well as the school's online student newspaper.
A commonality amongst the interviews was students referring to a sense of community they feel WiNK contributes to the Wooster campus. Throughout their years of taking Journalism, Katherine and Presley mainly create videos and feel the class provides them with the opportunity to "bring the community together by creating music videos." Last year, their favorite contribution to WiNK was their Pitch Perfect music video that came out before Christmas. They chose this contribution due to the number of people they were able to compile for the video. Furthermore, they explained that the production process of the video was thoroughly enjoyed by all parties, describing it as an "exciting community building experience."
The community-building aspect WiNK and Journalism provides is not exclusive to video creation. Jack Zahner describes his ambition for the course and shares what he feels he can provide to the Wooster community through WiNK. Jack Zahner, being a fundamental part of the boy's soccer team, feels he can provide insight into the athletic scene at Wooster. Jack shared his ambition to interview what he deems "Athlete of the Week," and create articles with his friends to inform the Wooster community of the week's top athletes and their performances.
The first-year Advanced Journalism Student Brayan Teneseca aims to take a different route and use his platform to inform others on less-reported topics. He explains one of his immediate ideas by saying, "I would like to report on the stock market because it is a topic that interests me, and simply because no one else is."
When I set out to conduct these interviews, I aimed to compile a variety of students with different experience levels in this course and varying interests. Having completed these interviews and reflecting on the process, I can undoubtedly claim that WiNK provides students of all backgrounds and interests the opportunity to report on various topics. Furthermore, the versatility of WiNK allows students to enjoy themselves on campus in a productive and informative way or indulge themselves in researching and analyzing prominent current events.