My name is Mia Benstead and I am a senior at Sonoma Valley High School. This year is my third year on my school newspaper, the Dragon’s Tale Staff. Joining this tight knit team two years ago, I was nervous about this class as I did not have much confidence in my writing. I realized after joining that there were many art forms that went into creating a newspaper. While I have been working for the paper, I learned that journalism is a much more serious world.  You must find the accuracy behind every single piece of evidence. Last year, I steered further towards page designing, and this year am the design editor.  My love and passion for graphics and editing and building pages has grown immensely. I have now found it may be something I would want to do as a profession.
My philosophy of journalism has morphed from the beginning of my career. My previous thinking was that articles, and writing was just for the sake of writing. I have discovered the art of photojournalism and how to capture the perfect moments of actions. No action, no good. I have discovered how to display emotion while writing hard news and how to keep your opinions back while writing OP/ED. Journalism creates a new dynamic to writing, it is its own style. As the years progressed, my photography and editing, as well as page design improved immensely.
In the beginning of my newspaper journey, I continuously doubted my skills in journalism. I have successfully met my goals, and will add on to them by growing my knowledge to make our paper even better.
I have gained the ability to see that I do have the capabilities to write as not a mediocre journalist, but a great one. Despite past teachers saying that I cannot write, or that my writing is not up par, Newspaper has helped me gain confidence in my words. I have discovered this form of writing that truly fits to me. My enjoyment of writing itself has skyrocketed from the start of my journalism career to now.

Mia Benstead, Design Editor