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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Editorial: Part 1

Our intern Craig is the first to take the plunge and write his first blog. A really interesting piece. Hope you all enjoy it. 

Hi, as well as interning this summer I am the editor of The Saint, St Andrews’ independent student newspaper. Whilst in this position I got to thinking that although most people consider student newspapers for experience when interested in journalism there is so much more a newspaper can offer, even to those looking for work experience in IT, design/production, sales, and finance. If you have any questions about what is mentioned below, or maybe something which isn’t, feel free to contact me at editor@thesaint-online.com

Let me explain this:

IT jobs: Since news has become a multi-media, multi-platform business, with the majority of people getting their daily news through their phones, tablets, and computers, student papers have had to adapt to survive. The transition from print to online news, however, can be very complicated if done well, and this is where I think newspapers need IT specialists. If you have experience coding websites, either for a computer science degree or as a hobby, I think you could easily find a job there. Why not develop an app for the paper, or create a version of the site for mobiles? This kind of extra-curricular project is fantastic for a CV. One person can make a huge impact in this area – be that guy.

Sales and marketing: Although some newspapers are subsidised, there are plenty of others that rely on revenue gathered from the sale of adverts to allow them to print.
Student newspapers can be a brilliant way to get experience in sales, dealing with clients ranging from local takeaways to international banks. This work often goes on behind-the-scenes, but is definitely a crucial part of the process. Most offer on-the-job training and shadowing, allowing you to build up your confidence before hitting the streets on your own. I think that the experience this section can offer can be invaluable to someone looking to go into the profession – why not give it a shot?

Design/Production: I can’t speak for other student newspapers here, but The Saint is designed and laid out on professional software called Adobe InDesign, part of the Adobe Creative Suite, which also includes products such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver. From my experience, this software, among other programs, is used by newspapers and publishing houses throughout the country to lay out content before it goes to the presses. If you are serious about going into journalism or publishing, a working knowledge of this software can be a major plus point on your CV. Get in touch with your student newspaper to see what opportunities they can offer you to familiarise yourself with this software. Or, if you are unsuccessful there, you can take matters into your own hands. If you can prove you are a UK student, there is a fantastic website called software4students.co.uk which offers the latest software for reduced prices. Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) is, at time of writing, available there at a significant reduction. It is a lot of money, but consider it an investment in your future. There are plenty of manuals and Youtube training videos available.

Finance: Someone is always needed to keep an accurate record of the income and expenditure of any business. There are usually fewer positions available for this kind of job with student papers, but it can’t hurt to ask – drop the editors an email and see what they say.

If you have any questions about what is mentioned above, or maybe something which isn’t, feel free to contact me at editor@thesaint-online.com


This month’s interesting journalism law fact: My copy of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists is in the post. Sorry to disappoint, I know you were looking forward to this paragraph so much!