Why You Should Join the School Newspaper
The school newspaper is one of the most valuable things you can be a part of in both high school and college. You will learn skills while working on a school newspaper that will benefit you throughout many aspects of your life. Skills like writing, creating visuals, asking open-ended questions, thinking on your feet, and even how to be a better entrepreneur. In the following article, we’re going to dive deep into answering the question of why you should join a school newspaper, even if you hate the media and it doesn’t seem to interest you.
It Makes You a Better Communicator
If you’re interested in a career in writing or marketing, then you should be reading your school newspaper. Working on a school newspaper is a great way to improve your writing skills, learn how to meet deadlines, and get a feel for what it’s like to work in a team.
To be a better writer, you need to be a better communicator. And to be a better communicator, you need to be a better listener. Because communication is a two-way street: if you can’t listen, you can never truly communicate.
Communication is the key to success in life. You need to be able to communicate with your team, your clients, your boss, your employees, and your market. All of these people are important for the success of your business. If you can’t communicate well with all of these people then your business will suffer.
It Makes You Better With Visual Presentations
People today are much more visual than they’ve ever been before. If you’re trying to tell a story, or make a sale, or just get someone to take action, using visuals is a better way to do it. One of the best ways to get more interaction on your posts is to add an image or video.
When you’re looking at someone’s LinkedIn profile, you might wonder, “What does this person really look like?” But when you’re looking at their Instagram, there’s a lot more visual information to draw from. Be sure to include a professional headshot on your social media profiles.
Any visual enhancement you can add to your skill set will only make you more marketable. School newspapers force you to work with not only the content but the layout of it. You can port those skills over to other areas of your life, whether it be building websites, drafting pitch decks, or giving presentations to your staff in an office environment.
It Helps You Learn How to Ask Open-Ended Questions
Good journalists don’t ask “yes or no” questions. When you ask questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” it takes away the opportunity for your interviewee to really delve into their responses and offer up more information.
When you’re trying to write an interview, the first thing you have to do is ask questions that you know the person you’re interviewing can answer. If you ask something they can’t answer, they’ll be thrown off their game and have a hard time answering the question.
Asking open-ended questions helps you learn about someone’s story and personality. Asking open-ended questions is a valuable skill set to have when interviewing for jobs, making important decisions, or simply getting to know someone as a friend or relationship partner.
It Helps You Think On Your Feet
Working on the school newspaper helps you become better at thinking on your feet. The key to being a successful writer for a newspaper is to be able to think up stories and interview people on the spot.
It’s not uncommon for a reporter to have to go from interviewing one person to running to another interview in a matter of minutes. A big part of being a good communicator is having the wherewithal to know when, how, and where to look for information that you don’t know.
It’s about being able to process what’s happening right now and be able to anticipate what will happen next so that you can respond to it effectively. Thinking on your feet requires a lot of flexibility, and knowing how to work to deadline, how to manage a project, and how to update your superiors on the progress you’ve made along the way. Thinking on your feet is about problem solving and coming up with solutions to problems as they arise.
Finally, Working on a School Newspaper Can Help You Hone Your Craft As An Entrepreneur
Running your own business might not be for everyone, but thinking like an entrepreneur definitely is. An entrepreneurial spirit is a great quality to have and to cultivate. Working on a school newspaper can hone entrepreneurship skills. In fact, students should work on a school newspaper for this very reason.
Entrepreneurship is not just about starting your own business. It’s about identifying problems and coming up with solutions to fix them. Whether you’re working in a large company or launching your own startup, you can apply the same skills to your day-to-day job.
Working on a school newspaper will teach you how to write on deadline and how to manage your time. You’ll also learn how to create content that is relevant to your readership because you’ll be working on stories that are of interest to the student body.
Are You Ready to Join the School Newspaper?
If so, you’ll want to start with your high school or college’s journalism department. If they don’t have one, then the English department is likely the one that manages things. Go toward those resources. It’s best to start in high school where you can learn everything at the same time as your peers. Then, by college, you’ll be on a similar skill level as the staffers on the school newspaper.
Either way, though, you can get going right away and immediately enjoy the benefits we’ve listed above. Now it’s your turn, readers. Have you ever worked, or are you now working on a school newspaper? If so, what do you think the most valuable skills you’ve learned have been? Share in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]