The new year calls for resolutions to improve The Accolade

With+the+start+of+the+new+year%2C+editor-in-chief+Michelle+Sheen+makes+the+resolution+to+focus+more+deeply+on+The+Accolade%E2%80%99s+print+product+and+oversee+the+development+of+%E2%80%9CThe+Accocast%2C%E2%80%9D+the+publication%E2%80%99s+first-ever+podcast.+

Jacqueline Chang

With the start of the new year, editor-in-chief Michelle Sheen makes the resolution to focus more deeply on The Accolade’s print product and oversee the development of “The Accocast,” the publication’s first-ever podcast.

Michelle Sheen

As a sentiment of the new year, I made a 2022 resolution to continue focusing on creating high-quality print work and starting new projects for The Accolade during the remainder of my senior year. 

To fulfill these promises, the top editors and I, under the guidance of our adviser, decided to cut down on the number of issues we plan on producing within the spring semester. 

Near the beginning of the school year, we expected to print nine; however, during the first five months of school, I found myself — and the rest of the staff — under loads of stress as we jumped from one issue to the next without taking the time to regroup and assess our work. 

After printing our first four issues, I realized it takes hours of effort and motivation from the entire staff to put together a print product, far more than I initially thought. 

Especially since we advocated for mental health in our third print issue, the top editors and I determined that cutting back on one issue would give our staff enough time during February to revitalize by having our own The Accolade mental wellness days, which are still in the works. 

For the sake of creating quality issues and preventing burn-out among the staff, we agreed it would be more reasonable to work on four issues — only one less than our original plan. 

Our initial plan was to decrease the number of pages some of our issues would have to 12 in order to lessen the workload. However, this was no longer a possibility after finding out that the printer we use no longer supports 12-paged papers; we would have to continue with the standard 16.

While we could aim for five issues, pushing the staff to work without rest these next few months could risk diminishing the quality of work; we, as a staff, want to provide the most accurate material for readers on and off campus, and to do so, we need time. 

But that doesn’t mean readers of The Accolade will miss out on the amount of content we usually produce. In fact, I am proud to announce that we have decided to challenge ourselves further by starting our first podcast — “The Accocast.” 

This latest medium is another addition to the multimedia content created on our website, and our first two episodes can be found on the audio streaming company Spotify. The Accocast will inform listeners on a variety of topics — from school happenings to events on a national scale. We hope to bring in both levels of fun and seriousness through each episode by covering news, arts and entertainment, sports and more. 

Listeners can look forward to meeting different guests through our podcast; for our second episode, for example, we invited Sunny Hills science teacher Jack Adams to share his experience protesting against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students. 

Some may wonder why we decided to start our podcast when we dropped an issue to prevent burnout. While highly encouraged, participating in its production is not a requirement for the staff.

We don’t expect to post a set number of episodes on The Accocast for the remainder of this school year; instead, we want to give reporters the opportunity to experiment and try new mediums of journalism through the podcast. 

As always, I hope readers — and listeners — will make the resolution to continue following along on the happenings inside and outside of school through The Accolade’s written and multimedia stories.