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Curious students invade Tribune

By Staff | Feb 13, 2015

Ashley Burkhartsmeier/PCT Alek Collier and Piper Laughridge job-shadowed at the Tribune.

On Thursday, Piper Laughridge and I job shadowed Tim Chapman at The Pierce County Tribune. While there, we went through the average Thursday for the crew at the Tribune. After going through the grand tour with Tim and glancing at the old archives, or morgue as Tim likes to call it, we met with Ashley Burkhartsmeier to go through the advertisements in the paper. She showed us the amount of space each ad should take up and how the ads are organized. Next on the agenda was to meet with Edie Wurgler, who showed us the job at the Tribune of editing papers. The common grammatical errors and misspellings are indicated by her for others to fix. When we were done viewing the editing of the paper we met back with Tim to prepare for the city council meeting that took place.

At the city council meeting they discussed maintenance at the water plant and hiring a new auditor, Liz Heisey. When the meeting was adjourned we had lunch at Rockin’ Relics and discussed notes that were taken during the meeting. When all was said and done we returned to the Tribune to start on the article that discussed the council meeting. Soon after we ended the day by meeting with Nelson, the orange office cat.

– Alek Collier

Rugby High School has a relatively new work study program. This program lets students go to a business of their choice to live through a relatively normal day of work. This will help students learn how to prepare for their future.

I was able to join the Pierce Country Tribune with Alek Collier to learn how an average Thursday works. Thursdays are slightly different than other days of the week. This is because deadlines must be met so the paper can be sent to Minot for print. This helped us see how the final touches are put into The Tribune and see the inner workings of the office. We were able to see the different jobs available.

The first was a look into how advertisements are fitted into the paper. Ashley Burkhartsmeier showed us what she tries to do with each advertisement. Showing how she changes, rearranges and creates new advertisements. She showed us the different programs she had to use to make sure everything printed properly.

After spending some time talking to her we moved onto placement. Tim Chapman showed us the depth added into the organization of the paper, how the photos were cropped and added in and even how he made sure everything had a well-paced flow to it. He also mentioned the programs he used to make placement a easier task.

Then we moved to copy editing with Edie Wurgler. We were told more about what they were allowed to change. Sometimes a mistake can be put into an advertisement, or obituary. If the mistake is sent from a funeral home, it usually has to stay. It was interesting to hear how long she had been with The Tribune, and even to hear some of her stories about this place. Then we were shown how the obituaries are handled by Bryce Berginski, and how some family members put in personal messages about the deceased.

A main highlight of this experience was going to a town hall meeting and seeing the new auditor Liz Heisey hired. It was the first time I had been inside city hall, and to see a meeting in action was a new and interesting experience. It was made even more interesting by the fact that we were allowed to go up to individual members of the council and interview them for the story.

The archives were more than interesting to look through. They were closed to the public in 2011, due to people tearing and cutting out pages of the newspapers dating back to 1896. Carefully flipping through them we could see how much The Tribune has changed throughout the years. We could see names that we could recognize today. As our time was coming to a close, someone unknown to me and Alek was introduced to us as we sat down to write. Nelson, the orange office cat, was brought in as soon as we sat down to write. Nelson stayed with us until he seemed to grow bored of us and take his leave.

– Piper Laughridge

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