A school newspaper is a publication produced solely by a school's students. The student newspaper staff is usually led by a teacher who sponsors the group. The teacher serves as an adviser and helps to organize the students so they can produce the publication in a timely, efficient manner.
School newspapers exist to encourage students' interest in journalism careers. If a school decides to start a newspaper for its students, it must first designate a newspaper staff sponsor. After the sponsor is chosen, students can apply or volunteer to be a member of the newspaper staff. In order to produce a school publication, the newspaper staff must have access to a word processing program, some sort of camera, and a copier or printing company. Enlisting the services of a commercial printing company can often be expensive unless the newspaper can solicit paid advertising.
Elementary, middle, and high schools have the ability to run their own newspaper publications. Depending on the grade level of students, newspapers can include a variety of sections. For example, typical high school newspapers include sections featuring the news, human interest stories, sports, book and movie reviews, comics, puzzles, poetry, and advice columns. Some newspapers feature Letters to the Editor, permitting questions or comments from the readers of the publication.
As stated before, to offset the expense of creating a newspaper, some schools accept paid advertisements from local businesses. The money the newspaper receives from local businesses helps to pay for the services of a printing company. If the school doesn't have the funds to hire a printing company, the school uses a copier to churn out copies of the school newspaper.
Student reporters write about a variety of topics for the newspaper. The write about school assemblies, activities within school classrooms, members of the student body with interesting hobbies, or anything else that may be of interest to the readers. Whatever they decide to write, the newspaper staff learns to use the five W's in their writing process: who, what, where, when, and why.
Writing for the school newspaper can be part of an English class or an extra-curricular activity. Many students who write for the newspaper decide they want to eventually become professional journalists. Other writers have no desire to seek a career in journalism; they only enjoy writing for the sake of writing. No matter what career a student reporter eventually decides upon, she gains valuable experience working for the school newspaper.