Changes to Newspaper


Rachel Seo, Features Editor

In the past two weeks, the newspaper staff has made some changes to the way it will approach this upcoming semester of The Wrangler publication.

Recently, SNO (the web host of The Wrangler’s website) released information about its merit badges, which reward particularly accomplished websites with the honor of being an SNO Distinguished Site. Badges include Continuous Coverage, which rewards regular post publishing; Site Excellence, which highlights unique website design; Story Page Excellence, which includes submission of several different stories that would stand out amongst others; Excellence in Writing, which requires publication of three different pieces from The Wrangler on the Best of SNO site; Multimedia, which requires the staff to publish three videos and slideshows to prove aptitude in fields other than writing; and, lastly, Audience Engagement, which requires that the staff utilize social media to interact with and grow its audience.

These badges are prestigious and difficult to accomplish; however, the editorial staff at The Wrangler has decided to attempt to tackle at least some of these awards, if not all. Having divided its members into separate groups to spearhead each badge, The Wrangler not only needs the dedication of its team, but the commitment of the school it serves as well.

While preparing for its SNO Distinguished Site debut, the staff has been consistently editing and publishing articles on Wednesdays and Thursdays, grading the merit of the writing itself, and avidly been participating in social media to grow audience engagement. Nikita Kheni (10) and I have been following every single Mustang we can possibly find on social media, and, as part of the Audience Engagement badge we’re in charge of obtaining, hope to gain at least 500 followers per account for a combined total of 1000 followers (the minimum requirement to apply for an SNO Audience Engagement badge). Nikita is also preparing for a soon-to-be-launched series called “Humans of YLHS,” which is modeled after Brandon Stanton’s social media project and book Humans of New York. Like Humans of New York, Humans of YL will feature pictures of their students, accompanied by a quote, meaningful or funny, made by that person, and, according to Nikita, “is a feature dedicated to bringing students and staff closer together.”

Heather Gammon (12) and Gavin Gondalwala (12) seek to publish as many quality articles as they can on a consistent basis, as it pertains to the Continuous Coverage badge, and Nathan Shube (12) recently revamped the site’s look to include a vintage-style burned-paper background, along with a horse head favicon. Changes have been made, and The Wrangler has been improving.

Along with the immediate changes from this year come the plans for next year. Since much of the editorial staff this year consists of seniors, Nikita and I have been learning to lead and grow The Wrangler as a publication. Next year, we’re planning on implementing a simpler application process, a summer workshop and bonding activity, and a steady stream of constantly evolving writing. The details are still being wrangled out (pun intended), and many of our goals are still castles in the air, but castles or not, The Wrangler has been changing. While some change can be damaging to any people or institutions it affects, the changes that have come to The Wrangler are beneficial, and will hopefully be at YLHS to stay.