Advisers’ Corner

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Getting Started

Advisers’ Guide to Starting a Middle or High School Newspaper by Susan Newell, MJE (PDF) Are you a first-time adviser? Maybe, you are a seasoned adviser. Regardless, the information found in this guide will assist you in starting a journalism program from scratch or provide you with tips on how to keep your journalism program thriving. The Wheel (National Scholastic Press Association) What is “The Wheel”? It’s section of resources for the perfect sample or the definitive model. Whether it’s a policy or a form, chances are someone has created what you’re looking for. Resources in The Wheel are mainly those items that help student media organizations function, the elements that help students and advisers be successful.

National High School Journalism Sites

School is a project of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE)

Journalism Education Association (JEA)

Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA)

National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA)

Quill and Scroll (Q&S)

Best of High School Press (NSPA)

The Law

Student Press Law Center The Student Press Law Center offers advisers and students a place to go for help with legal matters.  The site provides details for specific laws, past cases, and tips for dealing with school systems and administration.

The Student Press Law Center’s High School Top Ten List A list of the Top 10 questions that high school journalists asked about journalism law.

JEA Press Rights Commission Provides links to helpful information about journalism ethics and rights.

Lesson Plans/Activities

Digital Skills Workshop Designed for secondary-level teachers who want to introduce students to digital storytelling and journalism as a way to address Common Core Standards to enhance language arts, from the University of Oregon.

The Journalism Education Association has a huge curriculum database of  lesson plans. We strongly encourage membership in this organization.

JEA’s Guide to Broadcast and Video continues to expand with articles, tips and ideas.  Popular articles like “How to Start a Broadcast Program,” “How to choose the right video camera,” and “scheduling your broadcast staff” are there as well as some new ones relating to writing for broadcast, using mobile devices to create news packages, and live streaming.

History and ethics lesson plans (Word doc)Provides links to helpful information about journalism ethics history

Introduction and interviewing lesson plans (Word doc) Helps students think critically about media, as well as interview subjects

Editing and AP Style lesson plans  (Word doc)Provides lessons helpful in understanding editing and Associated Press Style

Graphics, design and photography lesson plans  (Word doc)Ideas to help with graphics, photojournalism and page layout

Some of our favorite tools and apps

Haiku Deck Presentation software, much like Power Point, yet visual based, online and inspiring.

Canva A quick and easy way to make graphics and art for those who are artistically challenged.

Storify A great and easy-to-use way to tell a story with both old-school (pdfs, for example) and new-school media (social media).

Spark and Videolicious Both are apps to help make videos. Good for people who aren’t natural video storytellers that are learning.

What The Font An app and website that allows you to take a photo of a font and the app will tell you the font name.


Dell Computers Apple Computers Hewlett Packard


General tips on and support for InDesign and Creative Cloud Photoshop Help and Support Tips from the Adobe on how to create an index for a publication (Download PDF) Tips from the InDesign site on how to create an index for a publication (Download PDF)


By Lee B. Becker, Jeong Yeob Han, Donna Wilcox and Tudor Vlad
From Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 
Abstract: Research in the United States has shown that extracurricular activities at the high school level are beneficial for students. One type of extracurricular activity common in U.S. high schools is journalistic, including production of a student newspaper, involvement with student radio and television, and production of a yearbook. Little is known about the lasting effects of participation in high school extracurricular communication activities. This article examines the impact of participation in high school extracurricular communication activities on initial success in the job market, using data from a national sample of journalism and mass communication graduates.


Check out Journalism 101, a free e-book on teaching journalism by Nina Scott, an English instructor at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. This book was donated to the CK-12 Foundation under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license. This license allows others to use, distribute, and create derivative works based on the content. It contains chapters on the First Amendment, reporting and journalistic writing, digital journalism, ethics, and the law.

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