Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Behind the Making of the Viking Call Newspaper

As we continue on our high school journey virtually, many of you might be wondering how your favorite school newspaper, The Viking Call, has been created virtually! My job today is to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at the writing, editing, and posting process.

First up — the Editors’ meeting. Editors get together a few days before the full staff monthly meeting via Zoom to discuss timely topics to include in each monthly issue. Think Arts and Entertainment (A&E), STEM, Student Life, Sports (Go Eagles!), News, and Op-Eds. We try to make our articles as relevant as possible, using current events, including COVID-19, for most sections, along with the weather that Mother Nature presents us with.

Next comes the full-staff meeting. Here, our Editor In Chief, Malak Ibrahim, shares numerous announcements relating to the next issue of the paper. We then split up into our newsgroups and get down to business. As a member of the STEM writing group, we always discuss what’s happening in the world related to STEM and all-around science (COVID-19 has been a constant topic in this group).  No topics are off-limits, and we bounce around a variety of ideas.

During the next 3-5 days, each writer completes background research. Then, the final drafting phase begins. We typically have three suggested due dates for drafts of our articles. For example, days 4-11 are drafting the basic layout of the article, while days 12-14 are editing the article with final revisions.

Each individual article is then sent to their section’s respective editors, who edit and compile all of the articles of that particular section to send out to The Viking Call’s Layout Editor, Celine Pham. She fits all the articles into an Adobe layout app, which puts the articles together in a format similar to a real newspaper. 

Celine then forwards the articles to me, Jocelyn Bilker, the official Web Editor for The Viking Call Newspaper! I put the articles into the Viking Call website,, where they’re organized into sections and posted onto the website. The images are the tough part to upload, having to convert them to JPEGs and/or PNGs. Overall, though, it’s a relatively simple process to copy and paste each article into the website’s format. Currently, I’ve been in the midst of updating the staff page to the current editors for the 2020-2021 school year.

From here, the Adobe-created layout is forwarded to an actual newspaper printer, which The Viking Call Newspaper pays for once a month. These papers are distributed to English teachers throughout UMAHS and read by students. So the next time you see a newspaper published at UMAHS, take a look — we cover so many different topics, including current News, A&E, STEM, Photography, Poetry/Creative, Sports, Student Life, and Op-Ed — all for your reading pleasure!


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