Thursday, April 19, 2007

VT killings sparking discussion in your newsroom?

Chances are, the answer is yes, as we all think about how safe we are in our schools. And, if the answer is yes, chances are good that you're probably talking about how to cover the killings in your own school newspaper.

Some quick tips:
  1. Don't rehash the entire event itself. It's already been covered as well as it can be covered by mainstream media -- you likely won't have much to add to it from a news perspective.
  2. Localize your coverage. The one thing you can do better than the national media is make your coverage relevant to your own readers. How prepared is your school and community for such an attack? Are there people at your school or in your community who have connections to Virginia Tech? Do students know when to alert authorities to a potential danger in their school? All would be excellent story ideas that will resonate with your readers.
  3. Ask permission to use stuff. With such a proliferation of coverage on the Internet, the temptation is to take images and such and use them in your publication. Don't do it -- unless you ask (and gain) permission from the copyright holder. Plan ahead!
If you need further advice, feel free to post questions in the comments section, or send us an e-mail. We're happy to help!

UPDATE: Shortly after posting this, I discovered a similar article at Poynter High. Lots more good advice in there!

1 comment:

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