Introduction: Making a School Newspaper

What did you make?
My friends and I decided to make a school newspaper. The only thing close to a school newspaper that we ever had was a hand-drawn one-sided paper from 5th grade, made by a kid with a short attention span who didn’t know what he was doing (it lasted about a week). Seeing the problems this child had, we assembled a bunch of kids with short attention spans who didn’t know what they were doing and started the newspaper Wildcat News. We used the school’s copying machine to make them (with the teachers permission, of course).

How did you make it?
With me, my friends Mike, Harry, and Chris*, and a few others, we started up the newspaper. Chris was the ringleader (and also in charge of yelling angrily), I took over Humor, and the others were in charge of Science, Sports, Fiction, and Photography.
We tried to meet once a week on mondays, we couldn’t always convene, (Read: Scatterbrained) but by some miracle of Nature we managed to pump out article after article, but to a lukewarm response (See “What did you learn?”).

Where did you make it?
We worked on our respective articles at our houses, but met to print articles and to argue decide what we needed to do in the next issue. Everyone that worked for us was able to have credit for our Gifted & Talented class. Some of the people working in the paper found it stressful, as their schedules were already full. I ended up taking over more work so no one had a nervous break down!

What did you learn?
The biggest obstacle we encountered was organization. Trying to herd a bunch of other children to do something that had very little personal gain for them is not in their nature. We are still working on it, but through scheduled meetings and incentives, things have gotten better. The newspaper didn’t exactly fly off the shelves with the first few printings, but by adopting a strategy of piggybacking on the school’s system of passing out announcements, we were able to increase our distribution by around tenfold. We plan to add advertisements, electronic distribution, and expand the newspaper in the future.

If you want to make your own school newspaper, here are some tips.
  • Proofread the heck out of it: Have multiple people read through the newspaper, as typos and errors look unprofessional.
  • See if the school will pass it out: circulation of the newspaper will be better if you have the paper come to them.
  • Make it fun: the average 6th Grader doesn’t want to read a summary of last nights PTA meeting, they want to be entertained, and a humor/comics section is a must.
  • Design it well: Use fonts with serifs (look it up) so it's easy to read, clearly separate the different sections to give it a sense of of orderliness, and try to make it look good overall.

*Not real names.
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

Participated in the
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest