In a growing trend, I have moved from solely advising a newspaper publication to now advising a newspaper, yearbook, web site and broadcast video team.
Adding yearbook to the schedule can be rough. I know 30 years ago when I was in high school, the staffs did not mix. Things hadn’t changed much when I tried to get them to work together years back. Yearbook lived in yearbook world and the paper team lived in newspaper world.
Over time, I have learned that the clans can be united. Here are a few tips to get your teams to work as one:
Let students sign up for journalism during any production class. Numbers and recruiting combine as probably the most important part of developing a journalism program. To keep my numbers up and get all the best students out for journalism, they can take yearbook during a “news lab” class. At City High, journalism classes are designated as News Lab, Yearbook Lab or Broadcast Lab, but veteran students can sign up for any hour of the day if they have a scheduling conflict.
We also have started adding all students to the staffs of different publications. Yearbook staffers are on the online staff page for the news team and news reporters are on the staff page for the Red and White yearbook. At first, students didn’t like yearbook using their stories or photos, but once they received credit they were happy. This works the same way for yearbook photos being used on the website or in the newspaper.
All of the journalism teams wear one shirt — #littlehawkjournalism. Beyond recruiting, getting a great team T-shirt is probably the second most important task of the year.
ONE PHOTO FOLDER
To create more of a “one journalism team” mentality we combined the Google Drive shared photo folder for the yearbook and newspaper staffs. This allows for easy access and more collaboration between the teams.
ALL THE BEATS
All reporters have regular beats they cover for the different publications. Those short news/sports stories get published on TheLittleHawk.com. They’re required to have a “real” photo of a school event, caption, quotes and a well-written lead. Those captioned photos also appear on Instagram.
I know some yearbooks don’t release content before the book is published, but we share photos on social media, on the website and in the monthly newspaper. Because telling the stories of the year is all of our jobs.