As the senior class prepares to graduate, Cathedral Prep’s student newspaper (the one you are currently reading) is in quite desperate need of help. The newspaper needs students who are willing to write, but who are willing to do more than just write. Let me explain.
Journalism, reporting, simply writing, or whatever you want to call what the staff of The Rambler does; it is more than stringing words together that one thinks of and that one thinks sound good together. A good newspaper can only exist with a healthy variety of what people like to refer to as articles. Additionally important is the quality of these articles.
A student newspaper should, by nature of its association with an educational institution, include coverage of what’s going on throughout a school. This at times may seem boring, and it certainly can be, but by virtue of connectedness, it’s necessary. Included in this category of school events is athletic events. When it comes to writing about athletic events, one should probably attend that event and take advantage of the fact that they are writing for a newspaper and score some interviews, not only with friends on the team but key contributors and even coaches.
Just because it’s a school newspaper doesn’t mean it can’t include coverage of events on a larger scale though, such as national and even international events. People generally like to write about professional sporting events, film and music reviews, and any monumental worldly happenings. At the very least, this is a good way to attract an audience, as peers are generally curious to read what their counterparts have to say about trending topics.
It is also good to include in a newspaper some opinion/editorial columns. These are pieces that allow writers to express their opinion about what they see happening. One must know, however, that writing an editorial entails walking a fine line. One must be careful to, if they are to dish out some criticism, do so in a way that respects a person’s or an entity’s dignity. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, one must always do their research and have their facts straight before they add their own piece of negative commentary, or any type of opinion, to an issue.
Essentially, what The Rambler needs is students that are not only interested and motivated to write about these things, but to write about them in a quality way. Writing with quality often takes time and requires time to be spent on a piece outside of the one class during the school day referred to as journalism class. In order for someone to write a quality article, they must be willing to do things like get an interview with someone with greater knowledge than them in what they are writing about (and this often requires phone calls or emails). Quotes always help a piece’s credibility, and these quotes must be cited. In gathering information for an article, one shouldn’t be afraid to carry around a notebook to jot down relevant information.
In depth coverage of what’s going on is often required for a quality article. Quantity is not as important, but one should not have difficulty writing an extensive article with an adequate amount of information. One should not, however, fall into the trap of simply writing an article as long as possible and end up spewing onto the page irrelevant information.
If you think you may be interested in writing for The Rambler, in spending some extensive time on pieces in acquiring information and then transforming that information into an article, then consider signing up for the class. Do not, however, take this class with the hopes of it being a blow off. If you take this class to be a blow off not only will your grade suffer, but will you also let down the school in its pursuit to produce a thriving and dynamic student publication.
The student publication has great potential and could turn into something incredible. The necessary tools for success are available to students and The Rambler is published online, not only allowing it to be seen by anyone with access to the internet, but also giving the production team the opportunity to incorporate numerous forms of multimedia into their work.
There are many different directions in which Cathedral Prep’s student publication can be taken, but only if it is staffed by students committed to its purpose and willing to put the time in to make it something all want to see and read.