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How to Find Stories for Your School Newspaper

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Issues

How to Find Stories for Your School Newspaper

Sports, Happenings, Trends and News Events Provide Plenty to Cover




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    by
    Tony Rogers



    Tony Rogers has an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and has worked for the Associated Press and the New York Daily News.

    Updated January 18, 2018

    Working at a school newspaper —either high school or college—can be a great opportunity for an aspiring young journalist looking to get some work experience. But coming up with that first story can be a little intimidating when you start to wonder what exactly you should write about.

    School Newspaper Ideas

    Some school papers have good editors who are full of great story ideas; others, maybe not. So it’s often up to the reporter to find an assignment. There are always interesting stories to be found if you know where to look. Below are some different kinds of stories, along with ways you can develop your own ideas, and some examples of real stories done by college journalism students. 

    News

    This includes coverage of important events on campus and developments that affect students. These are the kinds of stories that typically make the front page. Look for events and developments that make a difference in the lives of students and think of the causes and consequences of those events. For instance, let’s say your college decides to raise tuition. What caused this action and what will its consequences be? Chances are you’ll be able to get several stories out of an issue like that.

    Example: Students Respond to Tuition Hike

    Clubs

    Student-produced papers always report about student clubs, and these stories are pretty easy to do. Chances are your college website has a clubs page with contact information. Contact the adviser and interview him or her along with some of the student members. Write about what the club does, when they meet and any other interesting details. Also, include any contact info or website addresses for the club.

    Example: Improv Club

    Sports

    Sports stories are the bread and butter of school papers, but a lot of people just want to write about pro teams. The school’s sports teams should be at the top of the reporting list, with pro teams secondary. Here’s more on how to write  different kinds of sports stories .

    Example: Cougars Claw Women’s Team

    Events on Campus

    This area of coverage includes poetry readings , speeches by guest lecturers, visiting bands and musicians, club events and major productions. Check bulletin boards around campus or the events calendar for upcoming events. In addition to covering the events themselves, you can do preview stories in which you alert readers to an upcoming event on campus. 

    Example: Fallen Vet Honored

    Interview and Profiles

    Interview an interesting professor or staff member at your college and write a story. If there’s a student who has accomplished some interesting things, you could write about him or her. Sports team stars always make a good subject.

    Example: Focus on Professor

    Reviews

    Reviews of the latest movies, TV shows, video games and books are a big reader draw on campus. They can be a lot of fun to write. But remember, reviews don’t give you the kind of reporting experience that news stories do. Here’s how to  write a review. 

    Example: James Bond Movie

    Trends

    What are the latest trends college students are following? Find trends in technology, relationships, fashion, music and social media usage. Unearth a trend and write about it.

    Example: Facebook Breakups

    Editorial and Opinions Columns

    Are you interested in politics or just want to vent about something that’s bothering you? Write an editorial or column with your views. Be as passionate as you want but also be responsible and include facts to back up your arguments and opinions.



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