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The Teams of VP: News Team (by NewsTeam )

It is time for the sixth article in our Teams of VP series, and today we are actually going to share a little bit about ourselves and our work, as this article is all about the NewsTeam! We hope you enjoy this article and perhaps learn something you didn’t already know about us as you flip through the pages. And if any questions arise, feel free to ask them below!

The NewsTeam is a relatively small group of people on this site who creates the articles and magazines published on the Daily News page, which you can find in the right hand side menu on the front page. Other ways to access our page is through the carousel, which is that box of flipping images, or by clicking on any title in the ‘hot topics’ list with the little red and black microphone icon (). As a general idea, we create articles both related to vp, such as ‘designer appreciation’ and the monthly magazine, but also about real life topics such as important world events, news and anything that might interest us or that we find important and want to share. 

A NewsTeam member can be recognised by the little red and white NT badge () behind their name, and by clicking on the badge you’ll be able to find the full list of the current members. Our team consists of people with one out of two roles, writer or layouter, and you can read more about what each of the roles entail and how they differ on the next few pages. Throughout this little magazine we will also share in more detail how our management page looks and the different functions it has, as well as give you some insight into how an article is actually created and all the steps it has to go through before it can be made live. 

We are always open to new ideas and suggestions to how we can improve and make you want to read our articles, so if you have any feedback to the team, ideas or any suggestions to topics you would love for us to create articles about, feel free to either comment on one of our latest articles or message any NT member / the NewsTeam account.

To the right, under the rest of the sidebar, we have an extra button called “Daily News Management”. That’s the button that goes to the management of all articles created by the NewsTeam members throughout the years.
The NT article management, or Daily News Management, is the place where we can create new articles and edit existing articles. Here you can see if the article is live or in-progress, who created it and when it was last edited. We also have a bar above all articles where we can switch from “Live” to “In-progress”, if you have it on the “Live” part then you see the published articles while the “In-progress” button shows you what the articles in-progress looks like.
Probably the most important button for us is the HTML button. When you click that button it will open a pop-up page which basically is a text box where you put the coding. When you enter the coding and press the “Update” button your article will show up. Then you can go to the Daily News page and press the “In-progress” button to see if all the coding worked.
When you’re on the “NT article management” you can press the button “Create new news item” which will create a news article. Creating a new article is rather simple and pretty self explaining. At the top of the page you the title text box, there you enter the title you want for the article. The “mode” box under the title one is the button you use to publish the article, you switch it from “In-progress” to “Live” and then you will get a button under the “mode” that lets you schedule the article to automatically go live at a certain date and/or time. If you leave that empty it will go live as soon as you update the article. The next button is where you enter the URL for the carousel image, the image that shows up on the front page. The last button is the template button which always should be on “No”.
The main job of the News Team's writers is of course to write articles, as well as magazine content, for the community of VP. Exactly what this means differs depending on the topic and style of the pieces, and whether they are regular articles, designer appreciation, special articles (such as the team articles) or the magazine. For a regular article, the first step is to choose a topic. Since there are not really any restrictions when it comes to articles, writers are free to choose nearly any topic to write about. The next step usually involves research of some sort, in order to gather information and gain insight about the selected topic. Then comes the writing itself, which can span over a few hours or several days, depending on the kind of article and the writer's preferred working style. Finally, writers also have to collaborate with a layouter by communicating details about how they want the layout to look.

Apart from regular articles, the magazines also take up a fair share of the workload. In addition to writing the magazine pages, the tasks include coming up with the overall theme and colour scheme of the magazine, making sure we have female and male codes to give out, as well as coding (putting together) the magazine. However, the writers' jobs involve more than just writing, since they are, after all, part of a team. Atencia explains: “A big part of what we do happens in the team Discord, where you have to engage in team discussions, come up with new ideas, or just help other team members out with something. And, though it is mainly the layouter’s job, some writers also do a bit of HTML coding for either the magazine or their personal articles”.

Now that you know a bit more what the writing role in NT entails, it's time to get up close and personal with two of our writers, Atencia and Cimorene.

Why did you apply as a writer for NT?

Atencia: Part of the reason why I applied was because of my fascination for journalism. I wish school newspapers were a thing where I’m from, because I would have loved to be a part of that! As I don’t plan on studying journalism or taking up writing as a career in any form, being a part of NT gives me the opportunity to try interviewing people, creating articles and magazines, and just being able to write for someone other than the dark, hidden world of my computer.

Cimorene: I have always liked writing and researching, and as NT really makes room for a lot of different topics and writing styles and free choice as to what you want to do, I decided to give it a go and have definitely not regretted it.

What are the most rewarding aspects of being on NT? Why do you enjoy it?

Atencia: I would say some of the most rewarding aspects of being a part of NT is that I get to be a part of something and create with other people, as well as the feeling of just doing a small effort to hopefully help making the user experience of everyone who find themselves on VP a little more interesting. Being a part of this team I’ve also learnt a lot and gotten to try new things, such as HTML coding which I had very limited experience with before getting into NT. And, as English is not my first language, writing an article every month has helped improve my writing skills and vocabulary. But, I’d say the best part of being on this team is how nice everyone is and the supportive environment we have within our team. We’ve had so many great times just chatting, and if it wasn’t for the fact that we joined NT together, I probably wouldn’t have been as close with some of my closest VP friends as I am.

Cimorene: I really enjoy getting to research things. Having to write articles forces me to look things up that I most likely wouldn't have done otherwise so I learn a lot myself. With the options of “regular” articles, interviews and short texts for the magazine you get to do a lot of different things. I also really enjoy being part of the team itself. Working together on the monthly magazine is great, and we have a lot of fun in the team chat!

What do you think people should know and prepare for if they aspire to become an NT member in the future?

Atencia: As our work is very straight forward, there’s not a lot of things happening behind the scenes that people need to prepare for necessarily, but you do need to be aware that this is a team, and though you’re writing your text or making your layout by yourself, the teamwork aspect is just as, if not even more, important. You don’t need to be the most social person or take part in out non team related conversations if you don’t want to, but you do need to be able to collaborate with other people and being a positive influence on the team as a whole is highly valued.

Cimorene: While the writing part is mainly individual, you still have to work together a lot with the other team members. As a writer, you have to make sure your layouter knows what they are supposed to make in proper time to do it, and you have to coordinate who does what for the magazine. It takes a lot of structure and planning, but can be very rewarding - and useful in other aspects of life. It is also important to have the proper motivation to keep finding new topics to write about.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Atencia: As you might know, we’re currently in the process of choosing a few new members to join our team, so I just wanted to thank everyone who applied and say that I’m looking forward to see some new faces in the team!

Cimorene: If you are considering sending in an application I would definitely say go for it! I am looking forward to seeing some fresh faces on the team!
The main role of the layouters in the News Team is of course to make layouts for the articles and magazine pages that we publish. This means collaborating with a writer to make a layout that fits for their article, or to create magazine pages according to a certain theme or colour scheme. Usually, writers have requests about the titles and the number of text boxes, leaving the rest up to the layouters who can exercise their creative freedom when making layouts. The process of creating layouts normally involves finding suitable images, fonts and backgrounds, and then putting these together in an editing software such as Photoshop. In addition to this, being a layouter requires coding with HTML and JavaScript, which you can read more about on the next page. Apart from making layouts and doing coding for both regular articles and the magazine, the layouters also take part in the day-to-day work in NT, coming up with and discussing ideas and helping other team members in our Discord server.

After this introduction of the layouter role, the time has come for two of our layouters, Moss and Amren, to answer some questions about their experiences on the team.

Why did you apply as a layouter for NT?

Moss: I applied as a layouter because I used to love making magazines for gSm back in the days, and the NT monthly magazine really reminded me of that time. I thought it could be fun to play around with the coding options too.

Amren: I applied for layouter, because I really enjoy being creative and making layouts (and I’m better at it than writing I think) and the NT seemed like a really nice team to be a part of. And as a bonus I get to play with codes, hehe.

What are the most rewarding aspects of being on NT? Why do you enjoy it?

Moss: For me it’s all about nourishing my creative needs. I love playing around with shapes, colours and images to create interesting layouts that’ll capture the users. I view it as an important task - even a challenge if you’d like - to make the layout so interesting that the users want to read the writer’s article.

Amren: I think I have the most fun when fiddling around with codes or making new ones, but the most rewarding thing, for me, is helping my teammates out with coding. We have this Discord channel dedicated to coding questions where we all try to help each other out and it’s really nice that I’m able to help out and share my basic knowledge on coding. I think it makes for a great learning experience for all of us. I also enjoy making layouts, reading all these amazing articles and it’s always really nice to see you guys appreciate the articles and layouts (you’re all so nice).

What do you think people should know and prepare for if they aspire to become an NT member in the future?

Moss: It’s kind of summarised in my questions, but basically all you need to start out is some want or need to be creative. The rest will come with some practice and hard work.

Amren: Hmm, well… that’s a great question uhm. I don’t think there is something you absolutely need to know. You probably want to practise either your writing or your layouting skills, but if you want to be a member you’re probably already doing that. So, don’t postpone, just apply! I’m a really shy person and I was nervous when I applied, but everyone is really nice and we’re here to help each other out and create fun articles for the community.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Moss: I’d just like to brag a little bit and say that the true joy of being on the News Team is the friendships we’ve made in our little group. Everyone is helpful, does their part, and there’s always plenty of jokes and humorous conversations going on. That’s what I truly love about the team!

Amren: I hope you all continue to enjoy our articles and layouts! And apply for our nice little team hehe.
The ''Fancy Layout'' has 6 important steps:
   1. Changing Colors - If we want to change the colors of the site to fit the layout, we just replace two HEX colours, the default one and the one which appears when you hover over it;
   2. Changing The Font Color - In case the text isn't visible, we just change the color of the font from white to black, or backwards;
   3. Picking a background - Here we have 3 options (see image 1): image background, gradient background and color background. We just choose the one we need and follow the instructions. 
   4. VP Logo - The Virtual Popstar logo you see on the NewsTeam, is a pre-made logo made by a dutch member on NT. We only change the color of it and put it in its place in the code. If the layouters wish, they can change the VP logo with one made by them;
   5. White Background Behind The Article - This step is for changing the opacity of the white background into a transparent background; 
   6. Putting In Your Article - To put our code into the HTML and work, we need to remove single line breaks and we do that with the site that is shown in image 2.

And that's it! At first it seems difficult but after a while you get used to it and it's actually easy to do.
To flip the pages, press the bottom corner of the page, or use the drop-down menu at the top.

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Private wrote on 30-07 17:47:
Archangel wrote:
Ella wrote:
Why would someone call their site Freepik, i cannot 
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Godis wrote on 30-07 16:40:
Godis wrote:
Very interesting and beautiful! 
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Private wrote on 28-07 23:45:
Ella wrote:
Why would someone call their site Freepik, i cannot 
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Krystle wrote on 28-07 20:59:
Krystle wrote:
This is amazing, love it!!
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Private wrote on 27-07 22:43:
Archangel wrote:
Nice! Liked this article a lot 
stunning layout work 
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Atencia wrote on 27-07 21:29:
Atencia wrote:
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Moss wrote on 27-07 20:24:
Moss wrote:
Libertas wrote:
The best team on VP... jk... Unless 
Ooop, hmm... 
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MasileinDE wrote on 27-07 19:23:
MasileinDE wrote:
I really love the in-depth presentation of how the things behind the curtains work ♥
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Private wrote on 27-07 18:15:
Era wrote:
Libertas wrote:
The best team on VP... jk... Unless 
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Libertas wrote on 27-07 18:06:
Libertas wrote:
The best team on VP... jk... Unless 
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Private wrote on 27-07 18:02:
BloomCissi wrote:
We hope you enjoy this article! 

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