Working for BC’s student newspaper offers journalism experience

For those who want to learn about journalism but are not able to attend the journalism classes at Bellevue College, there is another option. The Watchdog, Bellevue College’s student newspaper, gives BC students the opportunity to learn about the field of journalism.

The Watchdog is the student voice of Bellevue College. It reports all significant events at BC, explains issues that concern students, and offers an outlet for student opinions. The writers, editors and photographers are BC students who have been hired onto the staff and have the opportunity to work with senior students as well as the faculty adviser, Amy Miller, who has knowledge of both journalism and communication.

According to Miller, the newspaper is a way to get involved with journalism and get practical experience without necessarily having to take the classes. It is made to give practical experience to people who want to write, copy edit, layout the newspaper, or just want to get some practical job experience in journalism. “It allows for a little more flexibility and people who, are kind of interested in journalism but don’t necessarily want to go into it, they can start working for the newspaper,” said Miller.

The newspaper first started in the 1960s and has existed under several names. It comes out every Tuesday and it covers all hot issues happening on campus during the week. It is free and distributed mainly on the BC campus and is also sent to the North Campus. There are five sections in Watchdog: News, Arts & Features, Sports, The Edge and Opinions.

The members of the Watchdog are paid employees working to produce a newspaper that is co-funded by Student Program and advertising. They are hired to work as paid staff members while accumulating journalism experience.

Amanda Olson, the arts and features editor, said, “I appreciate all I’ve learned through working at The Watchdog, and I know for a fact I’ve expanded my range of skills by writing, section editing, and occasionally photographing for the paper.”

As an editor, her job is sorting through the emails and articles from the staff reporters, sending those to the copy editors, and sending them back to the writers before production. “During production, I layout the articles and photos by using Adobe’s InDesign program, print it a few times and apply the copy edits given each time. I’ve also worked with applicants for the Watchdog, and have assigned audition articles to them and given them detailed notes about the basic ‘rules’ of the writing news”, said Olson.

The Watchdog, in Miller’s opinion, is getting better. Miller, who has served as an adviser for about two years, is quite happy with the growth. She thought it was very exciting to hear a lot of BC community members are reading the newspaper and giving the newspaper feedback. She hoped that it would continue to grow into a more professional newspaper in the future.

Students who are interested in working for the newspaper can go to the Watchdog website to apply or go to the Watchdog office in C206. Miller and the Watchdog staff will conduct an informal interview to look for people who are interested in and able to work for the Watchdog.