Tips for Managing Your School Newspaper
As a journalist tasked to write an article for the school newspaper, you have to ensure you have the mind of your target audience at hand.
That helps you to understand the language and the tone to use. At the same time, you also need to take note that the adult population like the parents are also part of your audience.
You have to balance the content, language tone, and how to blend the two.
If you are to write an article for the school newspaper then here are the tips you should have in mind.
Your first paragraph should be eye-catching
People should read the first paragraph and have an idea of what the whole article is all about. It should have all the critical information in line with the content.
Space is an issue in a newspaper; you have to make good use of it by providing factual information and avoid fluff content.
They waste your space and audience. It gives the editor an easy time in removing pr adding content in line with the theme.
Make your stories interesting
School newspapers should make the reader want to read more of your stories. This should come out in the first few paragraphs of your article.
If you choose to give out a story, then it’s important to be consistent in your story. Here are a few ways of making your stories interesting
- Use quotes
- Use celebrities as your reference point
- Use interview technique
- Pose a question and answer it at the end of the article
- Leave people in suspense.
Keep it short and clean
Your target audience doesn’t have a long concentration span, the shorter the article, the better the content. You are sure the content sinks to the reader. Leave the long articles to mainstream media houses and novels.
Take care of your language; don’t use vocabularies which you have you send the reader to the dictionary all the time.
Make sure you communicate. Avoid phrases that may have different meanings. It confuses the reader especially the students.
Avoid slang, abusive and derogatory statements in your article.
Add some visual content
Do you know why there is always a big pictorial presentation in any newspaper? The pictures help in communication as well as attract the reader to open more pages.
In most cases, the story of the picture is always in the middle part of the magazine. Use that psychology in your article.
Allow the picture to speak volumes. However, despite the impact of images you need to consider the following factors on the choice of image.
- Is it relevant to the content?
- How well does it disseminate information on the article?
- Is it attractive at a glance?
Does it upload the societal moral standards?
- Is it in line with the rules of journalism?
Be non-partisan for controversial issues
One skill of a professional journalist is to be non-partisan on any issue. You are a media for information; if you are to educate, make sure it has a legal back up. You can’t fail to get assignments touching on controversial issues. They are the juice of any article.
Readers want to hear your point of view on the article. In such a case, publish content from all sides and let the reader make a judgment on what is true or false.
Your input in this is crucial in making a decision. You don’t want to take the blame because of a piece of advice you gave on such an issue, yet you have no medical or scientific back up- for health topics.
Always spell-check your work
An article with poor grammar and spelling mistakes is a turnoff. Who will want to associate with that kind of mediocrity? Journalism is a sensitive career; you can’t gamble with language. You have to research, edit, and proofread.
By the time it reaches an editor’s desk, they only include professional input to communicate to the target audience directly. Check everything the punctuations and paragraphing among other editing features relevant to the article.
Accuracy is key
How true is your story? Do you have a scientific back up on the topic of discussion? If you are reporting about an incidence involving individuals; in case they come out to deny the claims.
Will you stand and have any evidence to prove your allegations in the story? Look at a scenario in a school set up; you want to report on a fire incident, you need to give details.
Are you sure the administration has the details, or you want to open a Pandora box?
Journalism is fun and exciting when everything operates at a constant.
In case of any controversies- the challenging part in the career- you need a thick skin to stand for the truth.