The newspaper and yearbook committees have different journalistic techniques to them but still abide by the same standards regarding the fair and balance of each story they write, report and share with the school. For the newspaper staff, they have topics to choose from and write from scratch. In other words, they create a list of questions, interview and come back to the room to write a one to two page story. Unlike the newspaper staff, yearbook members split their topics and each person is sent out to do a small interview for a few minutes. After the students walk back to class, they have to write kickers, captions and upload pictures they took of the interviewees.
Newspaper Journalistic Technique (Difference):
- Write the first paragraph regarding what happened at a certain event
- Write about the person/people they interviewed and what they had to say about a certain topic
- Write one to two page stories
- Writing style must be in past tense
- Work is published using Adobe Photoshop/Microsoft Word and other programs
Yearbook Journalistic Technique (Difference):
- Writing style can be used present and past tense
- Writing kickers and captions
- Underneath the kicker and caption, they must write what the interviewees said
- Requires taking and uploading pictures
- Using Adobe Photoshop to lighten or darken the images
- Essential to attend events in order to get an interview
- Mainly publishes school events, extracurricular activities, photos of teachers, students and faculty
- Work is published via online design
Yearbook & Newspaper Journalistic Techniques (Similarities):
- Both require experience with writing and photography
- Publish ads to make money
- Use kickers and captions to match the personality of the picture and point of view
If you are a new student working on a high school yearbook staff and need help writing a story for your graduating class, there is one example which will be listed down below. What is a division page, you ask? It’s a page where you tell stories about your graduating class and what you all have together accomplished as the years go by. In other words, if you are a sophomore, you can write a story about the class of 2022’s experience starting off as underdogs of the school and how you all came together to avoid the “terrifying upperclassmen” stereotypes.
Usually, the division page stories are one long paragraph which covers activities, pep rallies, pranks, etc.
Example 1: “Freshman year went by in the blink of an eye. Here we were, greeting each other in the cafeteria at orientation and now we have one year of high school experience completed under our belts. From the time we walked through those front doors and waving our parents goodbye, it was symbolic enough to say our future will be held in the hands of our present and future teachers. As we proudly chant with our class at the pep rallies and partake in extracurricular activities, we must take pride in our hard work and avoid the high school stereotypes at all cost. To the class of 2022, we must raise a toast to one another for surviving our freshman year and here’s to many more memories we will make as each school year flies by without blinking an eye.”
If you are still struggling and need another division story idea, please do not hesitate to comment down below.
Over the summer, the yearbook staff would be assigned to drive to certain places and ask each business if they are willing to place an ad in the yearbook. Of course, there would be some who would decline, say yes or remain undecided. After the students ask, the owner would ask how large could their ad be if placed in the yearbook. The four sizes and prices included were:
- Full page: $300
- Half page: $150
- Quarter page: $75
- Business Card page: $50
If the business owner accepts that they will place an ad for the yearbook, he or she will have to write out or send a check to the school and a layout of how he wants the business advertised. The yearbook members have to fill out paperwork and turn it into the yearbook adviser, along with the layout as soon as possible.
Even though I learned a little bit about Photoshop when I was 10 years old, I didn’t know how to use the majority of the tools until joining my high school yearbook staff and taking a photography class in college. Down below are a few tools I learned how to pick up on in high school and college:
On and Off The Yearbook Staff:
- Edited multiple image lighting (Brightness/Contrast)
- Coloring B & W Photos
- Changing Image Resolution to 300
In & Outside of College Photography Class:
- Using the spot healing tool to get rid of unnecessary junk on the sides and in the background
- Using the color balance to balance out the color of an image
- After coloring someone’s eye colors in a b & w image, I lowered opacity and fill to make sure the eye colors look natural
- Learned how to create a photography book with page layouts (using photo page)
If you are an introvert and new to the yearbook staff, here are pieces of advice I can give you regarding interviewing students at your school:
1.) Do not be afraid to knock on the door and ask the teacher if you can interview a certain student. Sometimes, a teacher will get angry at you for interrupting their class, but do not take it personally and maintain a confident, polite posture.
2.) When you interview the student, ask one to three questions about the topic you are covering for a certain page in the yearbook. Look directly at them in the eyes and jot down your questions and their answers.
3.) Before you send them back to the classroom, ask if you can clarify their answers because it is essential as the interviewer to make sure you do not misinterpret what they have said.
If you have any questions regarding interviews and such, please feel free to post a comment on here and I will get back to you as soon as possible.