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chain: Two or more newspapers owned by a single person or corporation. Also known as a group. The American chain owning the most newspapers is Gannett. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Teaching Tips

We are collecting tips from high school newspaper advisers nationwide on how to run student publications and deal with the issues from administrators, students and parents.

Tips on diverse coverage

Teachers who attended the 2002 ASNE Hampton-Maryland High School Journalism Institute discussed barriers to diversity in coverage in high school newspapers and ways to address it. Following are highlights of the discussion.

Potential barriers to diverse coverage:
  • Socio-economic differences of students who attend the high school.
  • Students who make up the newspaper staff tend to be college-bound.
  • Some cultures have strong oral traditions instead of written ones.
  • Is the student newspaper seen primarily as a training vehicle for journalists or a forum for all voices? It can be both.
  • Has there been a discussion of whether non-standard English is acceptable to print?
  • Newspaper staffs tend to be viewed as cliques.
Ways to encourage diversity in staffing and coverage:
  • Throughout the school year, encourage discussions of diversity and ways to define it.
  • Use a team-oriented approach. Put together groups of 3-4 students of different backgrounds and perspectives to brainstorm story questions.
  • Recruit students who don’t write for the newspaper to attend an after school workshop on writing.
  • Have the staff identify groups or cliques that have not been covered in the paper.
  • Teachers are strong recruiters. It means something to students when you tell them that they have potential and should sign up for the paper.
  • Students should also be encouraged to recruit.
  • Rotate staffers to take part in the editing process.
  • Incorporate having staffers get reactions from four students they don’t know as part of the post-issue critique.
  • Another way to conduct a critique: Ask another teacher to have his/her class critique the paper and suggest stories.
  • Consider running a page of stories in another language or languages that reflect the composition of the student body.
  • Encourage students to pursue diversity in photos.
  • Encourage assignments on issues that students care about.
  • Encourage guest columnists to encourage a range of voices and writing styles,
  • Seek out all forms of talent, not just strong writers. Photographers, artists, graphics are also essential to a great newspaper.
  • Invite guest speakers to talk about diversity.