Reporter and Photographer Tips
Tips for Writing a Solid Article
• BE TURNED IN ON DEADLINE. If you cannot meet your deadline, you MUST email the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain why.
• Be saved as a Word document (.doc).
• Submit your finished article to email@example.com and DON’T FORGET PHOTOS. The article will be assigned and edited by one of the section editors, and then will be reviewed and edited by the editor-in-chief. After this, the section editor will send back all of the corrections to you for you to approve and fix.
• When an editor sends you your article with corrections, get it back to them ASAP – within a day. Once the editor has your article back corrected, they will prepare it for the website and print paper.
• Contain a headline, subhead (used for newspaper), two-sentence blurb (used for huntingtonian.com; it can overlap with subhead but must be two full sentences with periods) and byline.
• Have at least three interviews (one preferably from a faculty or staff member or another expert). Contact the most central person to the story first. You may not interview friends for any story unless you check with an editor first.
• Have completely cited sources, including the full name and class of the person. (For example: senior John Doe said…) The attribution should usually follow the first sentence of the quote.
• Use short paragraphs. In newswriting, a typical paragraph is only 1-2 sentences.
• Be FACTUAL. This story is not about your opinion on the topic. You should never, EVER write a sentence like “The HUB is a nice place for students to hang out” unless it is a quote from someone. Anything that isn’t in quotes and attributed to someone should be totally unbiased.
• If a source asks you if they can read the article before it is published, the answer is NO. If they pressure you, tell them it is Huntingtonian policy. If you think you have a special exception, you MUST get permission from the Editor-in-chief BEFORE you show it to them.
• LEADS – the lead is the first sentence of the story, and should always be in its own paragraph. The lead should grab the reader’s attention.
• Look at http://www.huntingtonian.com for samples of how to write a news article. For example, if you are assigned an article about a new professor, skim through some old articles about similar topics to get a feel for how you should write it.
• ASK QUESTIONS. ANY of the editors will be more than happy to tell you who to interview, how to write something or what photos to take.
• The Huntingtonian uses AP STYLE. Many of the correction the editors make to your article will be for AP Style. You can buy an AP Style book cheap on Amazon if you plan on reporting a lot.
• Don’t get worried if your article comes back covered in changes. This is NORMAL. It does NOT mean you are not a good writer or you didn’t do a good job on the story.
Tips for Solid Photos
• INCLUDE CAPTIONS. The caption should include who is in the photo, their grade and major, where they are and what they are doing.
• INCLUDE PHOTO CREDIT. If you took the picture, at the end of the caption write “Photo by Your Name.” If you got the photo from someone else, say who.
• Use the cameras in the library unless you have your own DLSR. Dr. Miller has purchased six cameras for the use of the paper and the communications department. Make use of them! They can be checked out for three days at a time. If you have never used a DSLR, ask one of the editors to show you how to work it. DSLR’s produce better quality images that your point and shoot.
• Unless it is absolutely impossible, there should be people in your pictures. Photos of buildings, books, computers, empty rooms – are BORING.
• If your photo is of a certain event (theatre performance, athletic event, art show, whatever), make sure YOU ARE THERE. If someone comes up and you can’t make it, TELL AN EDITOR IMMEDIATELY so we can reassign someone.
• Don’t be scared to be creative. Shots from unusual angles can be a great asset. But do make sure the photo clearly and obviously illustrates the photo.
All articles and photos should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.