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25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning Newspaper

25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning Newspaper

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    Win awards Win awards Presentation Transcript

    • 25 Ways to Build an Award-Winning Newspaper Rachele Kanigel San Francisco State University [email_address]
    • Why should you care about awards?
      • They
      • Boost staff morale
      • Help you land jobs and internships
      • 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 creative
      • and …..
      • ENTER CONTESTS!
    • 1. Train your staff
          • Train staffers in all aspects of putting out the newspaper -- design, photography, online, writing, reporting, editing.
          • Incorporate team-building and leadership-development exercises.
          • Invite professionals from the local media to lead sessions.
    • 2. Network with the pros
      • Join professional organizations like SPJ, ACES, NAHJ, NABJ, IRE, NPPA, local press clubs and other organizations (many offer discounts to students)
      • Host professional meetings
      • Attend professional conventions and conferences
    • 3. When news breaks pull out all the stops
      • Prepare your staff for a big story
      • Think about multiple angles
      • Think beyond a single story -- plan for sidebars, multiple stories, graphics, photos
    • 4. Use public records
      • Hunt for:
      • Lawsuits
      • Accreditation reports
      • Police records
      • Audit reports
    • An investigative story by The Daily at the University of Washington on the university president’s salary helped the newspaper win a Pacemaker in 2010
    • 5. Teach your reporters to mine their sources.
      • The best stories come from live sources, not public information officers or press releases
      • Have reporters cover beats
      • Train them how to develop sources
    • 6. Beef up your online edition
      • Post Web-exclusive content
      • Break news online
      • Create photo galleries
      • Publish documents related to stories
    • After the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech the Collegiate Times published a police report on an earlier incident involving the man who shot 32 people on campus.
    • 7. Make use of new technology
      • Social media
      • Live blogging
      • Multimedia slide shows
      • Video
      • Interactive graphics
    • 8. Think about a redesign
      • If your paper is looking tired, consider a new look.
      • Look at design books, magazines, other newspapers for inspiration.
      • Striking, innovative design helps El Don at Santa Ana College win Pacemaker awards year after year
    • 9. Take a stand
      • Fight -- and write -- for what you believe in
      • Back up a strongly worded opinion piece with facts
      • Make a compelling argument
    • 10. Look for the unusual
      • Writers, photographers and multimedia producers should always be on the lookout for the fresh angle, the unusual story
      • Nathan Lau of San Francisco State University won a College Photographer of the Year award for this unusual sports action shot
    • 11. Push projects
      • Go beyond day-to-day coverage with:
      • Special projects
      • Series
      • Special sections
      • Enterprise stories
      • Golden Gate Xpress at San Francisco State University won a Pacemaker in 2010, a year when the paper ran a number of projects.
    • 12. Package stories well
      • Use:
      • Display type
      • Graphics
      • Sidebars
      • A logo
      • Info boxes
    • 13. Set up an investigative team
      • Send the team to an IRE conference for training, ideas and inspiration.
      • Invite an investigative reporter from the local media to act as a mentor
      • Bring in experts to speak about public records searches and computer-assisted reporting.
    • 14. Encourage specialty reporting
      • Look for specialty reporting contests from:
      • Religion Newswriters Association
      • Institute for Humane Studies
      • National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association
      • Fund for American Studies
    • 15. Develop your talent
      • Don’t let your best reporters,photographers, designers, editorial cartoonists and columnists settle for being just the best on your staff.
      • Urge them to go the extra mile to become the best in the state -- or the nation.
    • 16. Dare to be different
      • The professional press may not be able to afford to go out on a limb. You can.
    • 16. Pay attention to ledes
      • Busy judges often make snap decisions in the first paragraph of a story.
      • If your lede doesn ’t grab them, they may not read any further.
    • 17. Sweat the small stuff
      • Pay attention to details large and small. Misspelled words, headlines that don’t make sense and punctuation errors can put you in the reject pile before you can say “Oops!”
    • 18. Be creative
      • Try a new approach.
      • Don’t let yourself get hemmed in by tradition or template.
    • The Indiana Daily Student won first place for Editorial/Opinion Page in the Best of Collegiate Design contest in 2009 for this opinion page.
    • 19. Review the competition
          • Look at previous winners from the
          • competitions you enter. Read judges’
          • notes. Analyze what made the winning
          • pieces succeed.
    •  
    • 20. If you’ve got a good story, tell it
      • Use personal experiences to craft compelling narratives.
      • Thor Nystrom of the University Daily Kansan won a Rolling Stone magazine award for a first-person account of his struggle with ADHD and mental illness
      • Caitlin Johnson of Indiana University won a Hearst award for an opinion piece on her brother’s service in Iraq and Afghanistan
    • 21. Tell important stories
          • Look for meaty stories with impact and depth.
          • Recent winners of ACP Story of the Year and Hearst awards covered such issues as undocumented immigrants, date rape, homelessness, sexual assault
    • 22. Plan to compete
          • At the beginning of each term obtain or
          • create a list of the major state and
          • national competitions and their
          • deadlines. Write the deadlines on your
          • calendar.
    • 23. Put someone in charge of contests
      • Make sure that a person or committee announces competitions at least a month before the deadline. Don't leave this to the last minute -- postmark deadlines are usually strict!
    • 24. Hand out your own awards
      • Don't wait for the outside world to give your staff recognition. Honor your own staff.
      • And don’t wait for the end of the term; do it weekly.
    • 25. Enter contests
      • Remember, i f you don’t enter you can’t win.