Joining the local college newspaper can seem daunting at first, but it can also be an excellent way to build a personal network and improve communication skills. Team participation counts a lot on future resumes and that includes academic activities like these as well as more athletic ones.
Students intending to or currently majoring in journalism and communications studies will find invaluable real-world examples by working with their college’s newspaper. Many colleges may require it as part of certain degree tracks for their students and most do not exclude students from other programs from participating at an entry level.
Working with current and local events can also reveal new personal passions as stories are developed and published by a group of students. The kind of hyper-local and in-depth research these stories cover not only supplement the civic education received through the student’s college courses, they gain firsthand knowledge of how news stories become noteworthy and impact a small sample of the public.
Even at a collegiate level, the kind of time management that a newsroom’s cycle demands provide ample opportunity for students to learn how to balance their research and work according to strict deadlines. In almost every single career, some degree of analysis and reporting requires a practiced skill with studying facts and understanding how to represent them.
While many of the positions available for students working with their college newspaper involve writing in some capacity, not all are focused on long-form articles or research and story development. Some other ideas for getting involved with a college newspaper include:
- Marketing and sponsorship management. Though college newspapers receive funding from the school in order to operate, the budgets are almost always restrictive and third-party sponsorship and marketing opportunities can help bridge the gap.
- Recruiting as a representative. Colleges with a well-represented and robust newspaper create attractive climates for students with a focus on communications and public relations.
- Organization and administrative tasks. These are often time-consuming but necessary tasks that often fall by the wayside as stories develop and deadlines loom.
Building a portfolio of written work can help showcase personality and professional skill even in fields where a journalistic style of writing isn’t necessary. The skills required to produce an article of publication can be transferred to many different fields of work. Not only do they offer proof of communication abilities, they establish a database of knowledge and experience.