© 2019 by Nicole-Marie Konopelko. Proudly created with Wix.com

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News writing 

Every time I drive over the crosswalk beside our school, which is now surrounded by flashing lights, I'm reminded of the impact of my work. Nowhere could I have instigated more positive change than as a news writer on The Booster Redux staff, where I've covered numerous sensitive topics, such as the ones below. The countless hours I have spent formulating tough questions, annotating documents and outlining news stories have led my readers to the truth. 

 

Click the buttons underneath the descriptions below to read my best news articles.

Photo Illustration by | Maddy Emerson

The road to safety 

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NOTE: I started writing this story after a student was struck on the crosswalk on the then 40 mph highway beside our school. I investigated the safety of the roads, uncovering disagreement among city and school officials on the need for a school speed zone. Two months after the story printed, the city implemented a school speed zone and rerouted bus loop. The information that I found through open records requests and multiple conversations with city officials brought the truth to the forefront, and the words that I put on paper bettered the safety of our school.

Photo by | Maddy Emerson

Aftermath

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NOTE: Last year, the math department implemented a new curriculum that raised a lot of concerns among students and parents. This story served as an update on the curriculum. I interviewed teachers, students and parents, and researched the new standards. This article cleared the misconceptions of the curriculum and shed light on all different perspectives. Writing it taught me how to stay balanced while factually covering a sensitive topic.

Photo by | Maddy Emerson

A tale of three lunches 

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NOTE: I covered concerns regarding the school's unbalanced lunch schedule. Short lunch periods and long lunch lines put many students in a rush, with little time to finish eating their food. Shortly after my article printed, administration completely revised the system, eliminating second lunch and lengthening all lunch periods. This story, which I wrote as a freshman, taught me the true power of our newspaper. I also wrote a follow-up story addressing the changes that my story launched. You can view both articles by clicking the buttons below. 

News writing for The Collegio 

I have also covered news outside of Pittsburg High School. In the fall of 2017, I ​started working for The Collegio Pittsburg State University's award-winning regional newspaper — as a city commission beat reporter. I covered all of the city commission meetings and wrote news features on other city topics, such as traffic and housing. In my four months on the staff, I learned how to concisely cover complex city government issues. Below is some of my best work for The Collegio. 

Commission hopefuls

field questions from

the public

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NOTE: The seven candidates running for city commission spoke in a public forum before their election. When I covered the forum, I designated a vignette to each candidate's background information, goals and comments at the forum as a way of making it simpler for readers to decide whom they would cast their vote for. 

Photo by | Veer Nair

Photo Courtesy of | The Collegio 

City eyes new

housing to spur

growth

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NOTE: I decided to write this story after hearing concerns regarding the older age of houses in Pittsburg. I looked into the city's housing stock by sifting through studies and speaking to citizens, realtors and city officials. This story looks into the housing stock while addressing people's concerns and the city's initiatives to fix them.