5 Reasons to Write for your School Newspaper


If you're a journalism student, you've probably heard that writing for your school newspaper is a great way to hone your writing and editing skills. If you're a business, engineering, or graphic design student, it may not be as clear how writing for your school newspaper can benefit you.

The truth is that regardless of what you are studying in college or university, writing for your school newspaper is beneficial for many reasons. Strong writing skills are important whether you work in an office, need to communicate ideas to clients, or send business emails. Learning how to write different types of articles will help you understand how to write convincingly and effectively, but there is also more to be gained from contributing to your school newspaper than just learning how to write.

1. The chance to meet new and interesting people

Not only will you meet students from other programs at story meetings as well as the writers and editors who run the newspaper, but you will be assigned stories that require you to interview strangers. Although you might feel uncomfortable interviewing strangers at first, if your experience ends up being anything like mine, you will meet interesting people that you never would have met otherwise. The opportunity to interview entrepreneurs, authors, politicians, and regular people with amazing stories is my number one reason for writing for my school newspaper.

2. You will become an expert on the current events you write about

What better way to learn about and understand a topic then to conduct your own research and inform others about what you've learned? Journalists tackle difficult and complicated subjects daily and are then expected to communicate these issues clearly to the general public, often in just 400 - 500 words. You will also have to do this when you write for your school newspaper and as a result, you will accumulate a wealth of knowledge about topics you may have never heard of before.

3. "Contributor" looks great on your resume

For students with little work or volunteer experience, including on your resume that you contribute to your school newspaper is a great way to set yourself apart from your peers because it shows potential employers that you are versatile. Sometimes, possessing good writing and communications skills can be the reason you score the coveted internship or job when there are many applicants. In today's economy, employers are looking to hire people with the "full package" for entry level positions. Knowing how to write, and write well, will only help you when you are up against stiff competition.

4. Fame and glory

Okay, maybe not Hollywood style fame and glory, but it's pretty darn cool the first time you see your name published — and every time after that. It also feels good to post "I'm Published!!" on Facebook and to watch your status receive 20+ likes.

5. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity

How many times are you going to attend college or university? It's possible more than once. It's my second time around in post-secondary school and I have a number of friends pursuing an additional diploma or degree, but you never know where life will take you. Make the most of your school experience while you can and get involved in as many ways as you can. As a contributor for your school newspaper, you have the important role of helping to create a dialogue among students, your school, and the wider community.

At the end of the day, your school experience is what you make of it. Writing for your school newspaper is just one of many ways to get more out of school than just what is covered in class. But keep in mind next time you pass by a stack of your school's newspapers that you are a student and therefore that's your school newspaper. If you have something to say — write it!


  1. There's nothing like seeing your byline for the first time.


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