Do you still go to school? Do you enjoy writing, are you curious and ask lots of questions? Do you love to take pictures and give everything for the perfect picture? You enjoy editing pictures on the computer and your homework always looks tiptop? And your school doesn't have a school newspaper yet? - Then it's time to get some allies and start your own school newspaper! A real newspaper needs an editorial team - so does a school newspaper. Your first task is to put together the team for your school newspaper editorial office.
Making a school newspaper - this is how it works
Starting your own school newspaper is easier than you probably think - if you are well prepared. In this article, you'll find out what you need to get your school newspaper off the ground. You'll need to think about three things: Who belongs on the editorial team? Why is the founding meeting so important? And: What equipment do we need?
Which positions need to be filled? - Team members and their tasks
A real newspaper needs an editorial team - and so does a school newspaper. Your first task is to put together the team for your school newspaper editorial office. The following positions must be filled in any case:
The editors take care of the content of the school newspaper. The articles come from them. They research information, think up questions for interviews, which they then conduct, and write the texts.
The photographer is always on the spot when photos are needed for the school newspaper. For example, he can be found at school events, where he diligently takes photos. Are there new spaces you want to report on, or a nice project? - Your photographer will take the appropriate pictures for the articles. He can also take pictures of the entire editorial team.
The design team
The members of the design team receive the texts and photos from the editors and the photographer. From this raw material they design the whole newspaper. They position the photos and put articles into shape. At the beginning of your school newspaper project, they design a layout for the newspaper - that means, for example, they determine fonts and colors that will always be repeated in all issues of the school newspaper. This is called a "corporate identity". Every newspaper and every magazine has one.
The finance team
The finance team is made up of students who are good at math and who are responsible. After all, all income and expenses have to be kept track of here. The search for sponsors and the sale of advertisements are also part of the team's tasks.
The sales team
You've got a great school newspaper with exciting topics and professional photos, and you've got the financing in place - now all that's left is for someone to buy it. The sales team takes care of advertising your school newspaper so that it becomes known among teachers and students, and sells the issues directly after printing.
The chief editor
Where many people work together, it is important that one person maintains an overview. In a (school) newspaper editorial team, that person is the chief editor. A good chief editor is an organizational talent: He always knows who is doing what and reminds his team members when they are close to a deadline. He assigns tasks, leads meetings, notes down agreements, does the final check... in short: The chief editor is responsible for making the school newspaper a success. If you don't feel confident doing this task yourself (which is perfectly fine), you can ask a teacher or an older student to take it on.
The founding meeting
When you have found a few like-minded people, it's time for the foundation meeting. You invite everyone who is interested. At the meeting, it is important that someone takes notes. That means, someone writes down all the decisions you make. So you can read afterwards what was discussed in the team and which agreements you have made. By the way, you should do this at every meeting!
The various positions of an editorial team, which we have already presented to you above, will be filled in the founding meeting: Who will be chief editor? Who would like to write texts, who would prefer to work on the design? It may be that some positions cannot be filled directly. It is therefore perfectly fine if everyone takes on several positions. Your photographer prefers to edit his photos himself and would like to join the design team? You would like to sell your school newspaper all together? No problem, as long as you allow enough time for all tasks. If you find that the team can't find enough time for all the tasks, you should look for more members for the school newspaper editorial team.
You should also invite a teacher who supports the project to the founding meeting, for example an English teacher. The teacher can be the chief editor or give you advice so that your project is taken seriously. Together with the teacher, make a list of the things you need. What things might you already have? What can the school provide? What items do you need to save up for? Where can you meet regularly and work undisturbed? The teacher can arrange with the school for you to use the computer lab or for the school to provide computers or laptops. The computers should be equipped with text and image editing programs (for example, Microsoft Word and Adobe PhotoShop) and Internet access. This will allow you to edit text and images, do research on the Internet, and design issues of the school newspaper in the makerspace. Often schools have a professional camera, which you may be allowed to borrow. If that's not possible, a good cell phone camera will take great pictures to start with. By the way, every cell phone is equipped with a voice recorder nowadays. You can use it to record your interviews. Then you don't have to write everything down and can concentrate better on the interviewee.
Communication - talk to each other
Communication with each other is the most important thing. If you don't communicate well and important information doesn't get to everyone, your school newspaper will never get done. To avoid missing any messages, set up a separate email address and a cloud for the school newspaper. Ask your school to set up the school newspaper email address for you. I'm sure it will work. A cloud is a hard drive on the Internet where you can store documents, pictures and other data. The big advantage is that anyone who knows the password and has an Internet connection can log in, download files, and edit them, no matter where he or she is. This means that all the information the editorial team needs is always available to anyone, anywhere. A well-known cloud that can be used free of charge is Google Drive.
And now? - Creating a school newspaper
You've learned what it takes to start a school newspaper. You've met the most important members of your school newspaper editorial team and read about what equipment you need and how best to communicate with each other. Now all that's left to do is get started and try it out in the makerspace.