Newspaper Story Scenario #1: Yearbook Club Removal

Here is a fictional newspaper story scenario I will provide to everyone, including a younger audience which will help them understand how a local newspaper reporter publishes their content.

Previously, I wrote a fictional crime story but this time I might spice it up and pick a new topic which will cover a fictional high school (Milton Bluffing High School in Bluffton, South Carolina) where the yearbook committee in a small town struggles to receive money from businesses in order to advertise and keep their club functioning before it runs into the ground. So, the yearbook committee decided to do one different thing: One, they all went out and got a job to support themselves and raise money for the club two meetings away before the Board of Education shuts them down permanently.

At Milton Bluffing High School, the yearbook committee struggles to receive financial support from businesses whom they received ads from previously in which the Board of Education are two meetings away from shutting the club down.

The students on the yearbook committee have decided to ban together and get a part-time job in order to raise enough money where they can bring the club back to light. But what they have failed to realize are not just the businesses who refused to buy an ad and put it in there for them this time but the cost of printing colorized pages and pictures which are quite a hefty steep when considering about the expenses of not just one but multiple yearbooks which are to be released within the next school year. 

The editor-in-chief stepped in and said, “We went out to get jobs because not only do we need to learn how to support ourselves but to be dedicated and committed to the yearbook club. We are passionate about this and going to the media about this might not necessarily mean it will solve our problems but rather send an important message to our Board of Education that they are robbing us from a once in a lifetime opportunity we will never get back once we walk across the stage to receive our diplomas.”

When asked if they plan to create a social media page or a blog in regards to keeping their yearbook club, the yearbook adviser reluctantly stated “We haven’t thought about it yet but since you brought it up, we could do that because there will be upcoming students in the years to follow who would do anything to be on the yearbook staff but to no avail it would be removed due to the Board of Education not giving us a chance to improve as a staff and ensuring that we can find another way to receive funds in order to pay for the costs of building, printing and publishing our memories we made here at Milton Bluffing High School.”

The Board of Education was contacted but refused to answer any questions as to why the yearbook club is shutting down after the upcoming two meetings. Why not give the staff a chance to improve and receive funds before banning the club all at once? The staff hopes for the best but are they prepared for the worst news yet to come?

For more information, please contact the editor John Doe at XXX-XXX-XXXX. 

With this scenario, there are some fill in the blank questions which will need to be filled in regards to why the yearbook club is shutting down in the first place, who made the decision and other questions like that.

Need Experience Under Your Belt? Reach & Snatch for More Opportunities at Hand:

No matter what grade level you are in at this point, if you need to grab more journalism experience under your belt, reach and snatch for more opportunities as quick as you can. Do not expect the opportunities to come your way. Relying on luck and family connections do not guarantee you instant opportunities. You must have previous experience in journalism (writing & reporting news, photography and video skills) to continue.

In all honesty, if you want to be a journalist but are introverted, communication is key. Work in retail for a few years and you will learn how to associate with customers, coworkers and your supervisors. The reason for retail? Because it will help you enhance your ability to speak with the public.  Here are some opportunities you can snatch while on summer break:

  1. Attend concerts and conventions where you will meet famous people. Interview them about their work and you will get an idea what they are about.  Blog about your experiences and what you have learned from attending these events.
  2. Partake in extracurricular activities at your school. For example, join the newspaper and yearbook committees. Learn about these clubs and how they communicate with teachers and students differently.
  3. Make sure you go the extra mile and intern at a local newspaper where you will write stories, snap photographs and deliver newspapers.
  4. Lastly, when you find a story in your hometown that was not covered, jump on it immediately and begin the interview process after gathering information in regards to what the story is about. Write your story, edit it and you can do one or two things with this story (A: Ask your local newspaper if you can publish an article) or (B: Blog about the story before anyone else publishes it).

Yearbook & Newspaper Journalistic Techniques:

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):

  1. Both require experience with writing and photography
  2. Publish ads to make money
  3. Use kickers and captions to match the personality of the picture and point of view