April 19, 2011 — Coachella Unincorporated, a new group of rising young journalists, visited The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California to learn more about the job and responsibilities that reporters and editors have. As the tour began, Coachella Unincorporated reporters were brought in to observe an editorial meeting at the paper. Some stories are decided based on popularity determined by “views” on the website. These reporters and editors in the room clearly know their jobs and responsibilities. James Folmer, Community Conversations Editor, asked us what our objective and goals are.
This is what we are here for: We are here to be the voice of the Eastern Coachella Valley and uncover problems that have not been brought to light.
As the tour went on, we visited Bob Welty, a Digital Compositor, who explained how the younger generations are more exposed to technology at a young age. The generations are competing with one another to have this type of job.
Something that kept coming up throughout this tour is the effect of budget cuts. Countless number of reporters and editors have been let go due to budget cuts. The Desert Sun is being affected deeply because people are no longer reading the hard print copy of the news paper. They’re instead viewing it online… for free.
We entered the printing room to see how newspapers are created. Only certain colors are used on certain pages to save money on ink. Computerized machines are programmed to print thousands of newspaper daily.
We ended up back in the editorial conference room with reporters Marcel Honore and Xochitl Peña. They introduced themselves and gave us their background, including where they went to school and how they ended up reporting for The Desert Sun. Xochitl explained to us young journalists the responsibilities a reporter has and sacrifices one has to make. Marcel told us not to be afraid to ask a dumb question, and to never print something that you are unsure of. Both Marcel and Xochitl both shared experiences to help improve our reporting skills. The advice of these reporters opened the eyes of the young journalists from Coachella Unincorporated.
The experience was amazing and the advice of the reporters will not be forgotten.
— Santos Reyes, Coachella Unincorporated