I started writing for UVU Review in the News section in the spring of 2007. I was working 40 hours a week at a local bank as an investment banker and had four classes. With weekly assignments, scheduling time for interviews, writing and editing, writing for News was a struggle.
I can tell you, however, that the basic concepts I learned through writing for the Review were not taught in any of my theory classes. Being really engaged in your education truly pays off.
There is so much going on in the newsroom with so many different people, but everyone is working toward the same goal. It is chaos; it is absolute hard work and very competitive, even in a school setting.
Reliability is another important aspect when it comes to writing for the newspaper, so if you are writing for the paper, make sure you are reliable and get your story done on time. As a writer, you will rarely see everything that goes on behind the curtain, but if you become part of the staff of editors, you will experience what is like to be in that environment.
I want to take you into the newsroom and give you a small perspective of what is going on in that little shared space, to bring you, the reader, the newspaper you are holding.
Once assignments are given, writers have to interview for, write and edit their stories and send them to their section editors. Editors content-edit before sending stories to the copy editor to edit for AP style.
When this draft is done, the editorial staff goes over it for the final version. At the same time, photographers and illustrators work on creating art for the stories. Finally, the designers lay out the pages with the articles and photos, and the laid-out pages are gone over again. Then it is sent out to the printing press and printed.
Competition and diversity in the newsroom is what makes our paper very interesting. However, we could use more diversity and less competition. We have students from all over the nation and from other countries, which adds to our paper.
Even though some won’t admit it, there are strong feelings about of who is the best writer, photographer, designer, editor and overall, who is the best at doing their job in the newsroom. So be prepared to do the best you can.
We take our assignments and work in the newsroom very seriously. We know this is the place to learn to be professional and want to make sure our readers are well-informed.
Whether you are a Communications student or not, writing for the paper is a unique experience that will teach you not only the theory and the aesthetics of the newspaper, but also work ethic, reliability, self control, how to work in groups and, best of all, how to become the best you while engaging in your education.