The Lariat during COVID-19

The Lariat staff poses for a photo. Heather Wieshlow/Lariat

Just like many other people and companies, COVID-19 is impacting the Lariat just as much. There are currently 13 members of the Lariat team. A big part of this team is communication and as class is not on campus, we all communicate through the app Discord.

While most the crew lives in Orange County, there is also a team member who lives in Alabama. This is the first semester where the Lariat practically has to work all online, from home.

With no access to Saddleback’s campus, stories have been a bit more difficult to come by. As social distancing requires people to be six feet away from each other, in-person interviews are becoming more challenging.

While the Lariat tries to keep their articles within the school and community, having little to no access to the campus makes it a tough task.

Although it is not typical, most interviews are conducted over a phone or Zoom call. With this, setting up a schedule that works both for the interviewer and interviewee can become difficult.

Usually, a newspaper is distributed on campus for everybody to see and read. Now, with lack of access of campus, every article is released on the Lariat news website with no newspaper involved.

Before the article is released on the website, the rough draft is sent through Google Docs, where it is edited by a number of Lariat students.

After the editing process is done, the article is then put on WordPress where the final edits are made as well as the tags and featured image.

Another problem the coronavirus has caused for the crew is photography. If it was on campus, photos would be much easier to obtain because the team could check out cameras, but since everything is online, creative ways of taking photos are having to be thought of daily.

Also, with no sports on campus likely until spring, very few sports stories are being made. In the meantime, Saddleback is still undergoing many changes to sports facilities such as the football field and the tennis courts, which bring good stories. Keeping up with former athletes from Saddleback sports are also featured on the Lariat news website.

The 13 members of the team are all responsible for overseeing all of the Lariat’s social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Tumblr. Although not ideal, running the Lariat virtually has been a success so far. 

Although not ideal, running the Lariat virtually has been a success so far. While COVID-19 has been giving the team many obstacles to surpass, articles are still getting delivered daily from the crew.