This semester, as part of COM 200 Journalism workshop, I was tasked with designing the University of the Virgin Islands’ school newspaper; The UVI Voice. The class was taught by Stephanie Hanlon, the managing editor of the St. Croix Avis.
I began as a reporter, however as the semester went on I then became the Assistant Editor. I had no idea how much work editing was, and even now it is still complicated. I thought I had AP style down, but it is clear that I do not. While it was a long learning process, and a lot of work, I did enjoy the class.
I don’t know how or when, but I ended up designing the website for The UVI Voice. I know how to work wordpress well enough and got caught up in designing it. That may be a problem. It was originally someone else’s job but I couldn’t help myself. I love playing with wordpress. Every day I learn something new when I log on.
The hardest part of designing the site was choosing the theme. I think it took nearly a week to decide on a theme. After some advice from Professor Hanlon, we went with the Oxygen theme. The front page uses the showcase option. Featured articles that are sticky posts appear on the front page as a large header followed by about 6 other articles. The articles appear in normal form with mini headers under the page “UVI NEWS.”
The front page consists of two sidebars; one on the left and one on the right. The left sidebar has the picture of the day, a calendar, RSS Feeds, the authors, a list of the categories, and tags. The right sidebar has the Facebook fan page and a twitter feed of a list made up of VI related tweets. There are four footers. Two footers are dedicated to the location of both UVI Campuses, one has contact information, and the last footer is dedicated to those who want to follow via email.
There are other pages on the website such as the Gallery, “Reppin’ the VI” which is dedicated to Notable Virgin Islanders, Announcements, which is where the press releases are placed, and the about page which holds information on the staff of the UVI Voice.
Currently, the UVI Voice has over 3000 views and reaches a wide, varying audience.
We were working on a print version, however it has not been published yet. I cannot wait for it to come out. In all, I love the class and I enjoy working for the school paper. I just wish we had a larger classroom or at least a club room for ourselves.