The Spartan collaboration with York Dispatch gives student writers’ talents a much bigger audience
I recently got the opportunity to work with Wallace McKelvey, an editor from the York Dispatch, to take a story I had written for the Spartan Newspaper and turn it into an article to be published in The York Dispatch.
McKelvey has been a journalist, focusing on investigative reporting, for over a decade.
But last year, he moved to working as an editor for The York Dispatch.
When I asked McKelvey why he wanted to do this collaboration he said: “One of the best parts of my job is getting to show young journalists the tools of the trade — not simply editing their work but working with them to uncover the truth about their world.”
This was an extremely exciting and rewarding experience. As someone who has never thought of working in journalism, I first expected it would be a tedious process and that I wouldn’t gain anything valuable from it.
But I was fortunately proven wrong. I had an initial meeting with McKelvey where he reviewed what he liked and disliked about my article and then went over what he wanted me to add to help with clarity.
He gave me a new deadline and sent me on my way. When I was done with my second draft, I sent it back to him and thought that was the end of the process, but there was more.
I met with Bill Kalina, a photographer for The York Dispatch, who took headshots to be used for the published version of my article.
I met with McKelvey one last time to go over the final changes he wanted to make. He also asked for clarity regarding terminology regularly used by YCP students that community members would not have understood. I found it interesting that we touched on spots I would have never thought to revise or change.
It was also during our last meeting when McKelvey informed me that my article would be printed in the newspaper. The news was not what I was expecting. At first, I thought writing the article was simply going to be an extension of my class, at most, it would be published on The York Dispatch website, so I am very excited to see my work get printed in a paper.
What McKelvey did not inform me of was that my article would be on the front page of the paper. I will probably never forget walking up to the newspaper section and seeing my face on the top. I am imensely grateful for this experience as well as towards McKelvey and the Dispatch for allowing my article to be published in their paper.
McKelvey additionally added his perspective on how opportunities similar to this one are beneficial to young writers: “This collaboration with Paul Vigna at York College is an extension of [my] work. We’re helping teach the next generation of journalists and providing a venue in their local newspaper to share their perspectives with their community.”
Alyson Hatfield is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in public relations.