Tips to Start a School Newspaper

Clueless about ways to start a newspaper in your school? All it needs is a basic knowledge of journalism. If you are still wondering, then here are some helpful ideas.

School newspapers are a brilliant way for giving exposure to special talents of students. They are considered to be one of the best medium of teaching young minds about various issues in the society. They create a sense of achievement in the minds of the students and are a matter of pride for parents and teachers alike. They help students hone their talent in writing, creativity, leadership and management skills at a very young age. School newspapers have the art of discovering new talents out of the most unlikely students. So dear is the idea of viewing one’s name in print on school newspapers, that many grownups carefully maintain their copies as keepsakes all their lives. Here are some easy ideas to show you how to start a school newspaper.

Teacher’s Initiative
The school management and teachers first need to decide whether the paper will be common for the entire school or separate for each grade. It is up to the teachers to find the right talent to run the school newspaper. An ideal arrangement is to appoint a students’ newspaper committee with a teacher volunteering as its guide.

The Student’s Newspaper Committee
Remember, school newspapers are supposed to be ‘Of the students, By the students and For the students’. The committee of the ‘little journalists’ should ideally involve a student with excellent writing and editing skills to act as the editor, along with a team of 3 or 4 other writers to regularly contribute with their articles. Students outside the committee might also be given a chance to make their contributions in the form of short stories, essays, poems, jokes, paintings, etc. It would be advisable to elect a new committee annually or biannually in order to give a fair chance to all the students.

Arranging for Capital
Capital is a crucial part for starting any new venture. The initial capital required for starting of school newspaper is usually raised by the school authorities. The other option is to involve the students and parents, by asking them to pay an annual subscription fee for their school newspaper copies. The school authorities may also publicly invite sponsorship for starting a school newspaper. Nowadays, school authorities encourage entrepreneurs who trade in products made for children such as kids wear, books, toys and games, stationery and study material, etc., to place their advertisements in the newspaper. This is considered to be the most ideal method for raising finance, since it is profitable for the school and it consequently reduces subscription fee that is to be borne by students.

Frequency of Newspaper
Its common to publish a monthly issues of school newspapers. The committee may be allowed to select any other duration if it wishes to. However, teachers and committee members need to ensure that publishing schedule are followed.

Formatting the Newspaper
Selection of an ideal name for the school newspaper is the very first step at this stage. Teachers may guide the committee in creating a particular format and encourage them to improvise whenever required. School newspapers usually contain an Editorial, along with news articles on current issues, school news and announcements, activity schedule for sports, quiz competitions and PTA meetings, columns for personal contributions towards jokes, puzzles, poems, paintings, photography and so on.

Publishing the Newspaper
Schools may publish their newspapers by putting them up for viewing in students’ common rooms or classrooms. At other times, hard copies of the newspaper are distributed to all the students or mailed directly to students’ residences.

Nowadays, many schools publish their newspapers online. However, some district and county laws prohibit publishing the names of students online for security reasons. At times, district laws state that schools need to obtain a written and signed permission from parents to publish the names of their wards on online newspapers.

Now, does starting of a school newspaper still seem like a challenge to you? It’s a fun filled journey for teachers and students alike who get to build many a memory lane together.