25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning High School Newspaper
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25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning High School Newspaper



Presentation to the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco

Presentation to the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco
April 27, 2013



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25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning High School Newspaper 25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning High School Newspaper Presentation Transcript

  • 25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning NewspaperRachele KanigelSan Francisco State Universitykanigel@sfsu.edu
  • Why should you care aboutawards?They•Boost staff morale•Help you get into college•Attract staffers to your newspaper•Help establish your newspaper’s credibility•May keep critical administrators at bay
  • To win awards you must:•Put out a great publication•Innovate•Be a leader•Be bold and creativeand ….. View slide
  • ENTER CONTESTS! View slide
  • 1. Train yourstaff•Train staffers in all aspects of puttingout the newspaper -- design,photography, online, writing, reporting,editing.•Incorporate team-building andleadership-development exercises.
  • 2. Network with the pros• Join professional organizations like SPJ, ACES,NAHJ, NABJ, IRE, NPPA, local press clubs andother organizations (many offer membershipdiscounts and scholarships to students)• Attend conventions and conferences -- likethis one!• Invite media professionals to speak to yourclass
  • 3. When news breaksreport it• If you’ve got a website, use it to breaknews
  • Knight Errant, Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park, Minn.
  • 4. Have a conversationwith your readersUse your website to•Solicit story ideas•Poll readers•Get email addresses•Find out what’s happening on campus
  • The Kirkwood Call, Kirkwood HS, Kirkwood, Mo.
  • 5. Get social• Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest andTumblr to connect with readers, askquestions and report news
  • FHNtoday.com, Francis Howell North HS, St. Charles, Mo.
  • Harbinger Online, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
  • 6. Beef up your onlineedition• Post Web-exclusive content• Break news online• Create photo galleries
  • 7. Make use of newtechnology• Social media• Live blogging• Multimedia slide shows• Video• Interactive graphics
  • 8. Think about aredesignIf your paper is looking tired, consider anew look.Look at design books, magazines, othernewspapers for inspiration.
  • 9. Take a stand• Fight -- and write -- for what youbelieve in• Back up a strongly worded opinionpiece with facts• Make a compelling argument
  • 10. Look for the unusualWriters, photographers and multimediaproducers should always be on the lookout forthe fresh angle, the unusual story
  • Nathan Lau of SanFrancisco StateUniversity won aCollegePhotographer ofthe Year award forthis unusualsports action shot
  • 11. Push projectsGo beyond day-to-day coverage with:• Special projects• Series• Special sections• Enterprise stories
  • 12. Package storieswellUse:• Display type• Graphics• Sidebars• A logo• Info boxes
  • Striking,innovativedesign helpedThe Broadview atSacred HeartH.S. in SanFrancisco win aPacemakeraward in 2012.
  • 13. Explore deeperissues
  • 14. Photographers: Look forthe moment• Shoot lots of images• Look for emotion• Capture special moments
  • 2012 NSPA Picture of the YearWinnersFirst Place:LaurenAndersonImprints, MesaMS, CastleRock, Colo.
  • 2012 NSPA Picture of the YearWinnersFirst Place,NewsGrace FinleyHornet,Bryant HS,Bryant, Ark.
  • 2012 NSPA Picture of the YearWinners First Place,Sports ReactionKate JacobsenThe NorthwestPassage,ShawneeMissionNorthwest HS,Shawnee, Kan.
  • 15. Develop yourtalentDon’t let your bestreporters,photographers, designers,editorial cartoonists and columnistssettle for being just the best on yourstaff.Urge them to go the extra mile tobecome the best in the state -- or thenation.
  • 16. Dare to bedifferentThe professional press may not be ableto afford to go out on a limb. You can.
  • Kylie Vandeven ofThe View, Park HillSouth HS, Riverside,Mo., won first placefor Page 1 Designfrom NSPA for thisillustrated front pagein 2012.
  • Kelsey Bell ofNorth Star, FrancisHowell North HS, St.Charles, Mo., won firstplace for news magazinecover for this page in2012
  • 17. Pay attention toledesBusy judges often make snap decisionsin the first paragraph of a story.If your lede doesn’t grab them, theymay not read any further.
  • 18. Sweat the smallstuffPay attention to details large and small.Misspelled words, headlines that don’tmake sense and punctuation errorscan put you in the reject pile beforeyou can say “Oops!”
  • 19. Review thecompetitionLook at previous winners from thecompetitions you enter. Read judges’notes. Analyze what made the winningpieces succeed.
  • 20. If you’ve got a goodstory, tell itUse personal experiences to craftcompelling narratives.
  • Caitlin Johnsonof IndianaUniversity wona Hearst awardfor an opinionpiece on herbrother’sservice in Iraqand Afghanistan
  • 21. Speak to youraudience• Write about the issues students really careabout.• Cover your school like a blanket.
  • 22. Plan tocompeteAt the beginning of each term obtain orcreate a list of the major state andnational competitions and theirdeadlines. Write the deadlines on yourcalendar.
  • 23. Put someone in chargeof contestsMake sure that a person or committeeannounces competitions at least a monthbefore the deadline. Dont leave this tothe last minute -- postmark deadlines areusually strict!
  • 24. Hand out your ownawardsDont wait for the outside world togive your staff recognition. Honor yourown staff.And don’t wait for the end of theterm; do it weekly.
  • 25. Enter contestsRemember, if you don’t enter you can’twin.
  • ContactRachele KanigelSan Francisco State Universitykanigel@sfsu.edu