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Secret of My Success: Staff of the Colonial Times

They're well-prepared with questions, take their responsibilities seriously, and tell it like it is.

Eight months after it the district's first online newspaper, the Colonial Times' staff continues to provide cutting-edge journalism.

Guided by parent adviser Rich Zahradnik, these fourth and fifth graders meet weekly to brainstorm ideas and keep readers informed by blogging, writing crisp copy and providing up-to-date information via their own RSS and Twitter feeds.

The editors conduct their own interviews and, after carefully taking notes, type 400-to-500 word articles with headlines, leads and quotes. Whether they're reporting about the recent earthquake, reviewing an art exhibit, or keeping a finger on the pulse of Big Apple happenings, they keep readers informed. What's more, they bring notebooks while on vacation so readers will know the scoop about other places of interest. How cool is that?

Last week these young members of the Fourth Estate shared valuable insights and suggestions with Pelham Patch.

Why did you join the newspaper staff?

Well, I thought it would be really cool and fun to do. And it was. I’m glad I joined.--Lindsay McNamara, Community Editor

What helps you make time for the newspaper, school work, friends and family?

Usually, I keep a calendar in my room. Then I check it everyday. After about a few weeks though, I memorize the calendar.--Manon Bushong, People Editor

My family usually helps me prepare and helps me keep a clean schedule so I have time for everything I do.--Daniel Bernstein, A&E Editor

What’s one of the most important stories you wrote? Why?

I think the most important story I have written is the story on the Pelham Middle School band. I say it’s the most important story I have written because it was a big event in the school.--Sam Rodd, Community Editor

I think that my favorite article was my very first one, the one about the wind storm. It’s called, ‘Windstorm Disrupts Sleepers,’ I believe, and it’s my favorite one because I put effort into that story and I tried hard. I wanted it to be good. I really liked it.--Daniella Cherner, News Editor

Name three important things needed to be a successful editor or reporter. Why?

Always remember your notebook (or else you can't write anything down). Try to finish before the deadline. Always have new ideas. --Peyton Rees, News Editor

Who do you think is a successful journalist on television or in the newspapers?  Why?

Wolf Blitzer from CNN and also Nick Squires on The Telegraph because they are detailed people who always have interesting stories.--Francesca Di Cristonano, News Editor

What advice would you tell someone who wants to be a reporter or an editor?

My advice I would tell someone who wants to be a reporter or an editor is to always be prepared with questions for your interviews. Also, always think of story ideas to write about.--Helena White, A&E Editor

Janie Rosman September 23, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Thanks for inviting me to your school. It was such fun meeting you and talking with you!

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