Going Digital

If anyone’s nimble enough to keep up with all the demands of editing a magazine in the Internet age, it’s Amanda Holst, ’14 Journalism and Nutritional Sciences, especially now that she has served as SHiFT editor.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications produces the student-run periodical to teach all the traditional and emerging aspects of the publishing world.

“While a great story still requires shoe leather reporting, new electronic tools are transforming the way we design, distribute and deliver our magazine,” said Tom Ulrich, a lecturer focusing on magazine journalism.

With just weeks to go during her final semester at SJSU, Holst pulled together the staff for a review of the publication’s print and digital issues. This term, students made full use of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite.

The downtown San Jose-based tech titan even provided several mentors for SHiFT’s Digital Publishing Editor Douglas Rider, who incorporated drag-and-drop and Apple AccelerometerGraph functions into stories to create a digital issue “to sit back in a chair and really read,” he said.

“For example, we have a food photo essay,” Holst said. “When you click on the food item, it takes you to an audio clip of the chef talking about it. You can tilt your mobile device in order to unlock text. A reader scrolls up, down and sideways to view content interactively.

“We have an interactive game where you can put your food items in a grocery bag and it will tell you how much time is needed in order to burn off the calories from those specific food items.”

How hot is this technology? Content magazine, which prides itself in displaying and discovering Silicon Valley’s innovative and creative culture, attended the SHiFT design review.

“For Holst, her tenure as SHiFT editor comes at the end of an undergraduate career chock-full of internships, part-time jobs and freelance work that helped her hone her interests, support herself, and meet degree requirements while gaining a wealth of hands-on learning.

“I’ve always worked on a team but have never led one,” she said. “From this experience, I learned that I have a passion for leadership and a natural ability to empower people.

“I learned that the reward is in the process and not so much about the end result…Every staff member had something different to offer–it was my job to tap into that and bring it to light!”

Up next for this McNair Scholar: graduate school.
“I’m fascinated by the topic of motivation so I’m switching gears and would like to focus my graduate studies on social psychology,” she said. “This class will help me in understanding the elements of community, vital to success in any organization.”