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August 27, 2008

Everybody get your buddy!

"Some student newspapers have a buddy system that links incoming reporters to more experiences staffers; others assign a senior staffer to act as a writing coach."  (The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, page 13)

 

I wish The Setonian had enough kids on staff to be able to do this. Last year when I was given my first article; I went about my interviews without knowing what questions to ask and who to interview, I wrote that article without being trained in how to write a newspaper article and didn't even think they would put it in the paper...but there it showed up, along with my photos in the center spread, not to mention the front page. The first paper that came out while I was on staff and my pictures were on the front page and my article was right smack in the center of the paper.

That was fun...but I think I was so nervous to not do well that I went over the top to do what was needed. I think if I had a buddy I'd be a little more comfortable to ease into The Setonian. (Any freshmen that want a buddy - I got your back.)

5 Comments

Interviewing and writing are so easy that it doesn't warrant a "buddy system". To give it one would make it appear more difficult than it really is.

Chelsea,

Thanks for offering to help the freshmen. The e-mails I've been receiving from them are enthusiastic and charming, and I'm looking forward to meeting them. I'll get to your quotes soon, guys!

You all need to know that you can come to me about anything. This is why, I think, I'm constantly e-mailing the staff. I like to keep lines of communication open, and since I'm a commuter e-mailing is the best way for me to do that.

I've been in retail for 7 years, so I've met and tolerated all kinds. Working with you all is a pleasure, even with the stress of deadlines and procrastinators. Just remember, nothing any of you could do would make me half as mad as having a drivers license thrown at my face in order to verify a credit card. =)

I'm planning to bring up buddy systems in the first staff meeting, so I'm really glad you blogged this. We've also got our news editors tag-teaming so that'll help as well.

It is nerve racking when you first join the newspaper. Not knowing what to do, or how to write is stressful. I think that all staff, on the Setonian, are willing, for the most part, to help each other out. I think a "buddy" system is most unrealistic though. No one has the time, nor patience to guide one through the ins and outs of the paper.

I found all of the Setonian staff helpful when I came into the paper my freshman spring. They really do care about helping the freshmen, because they are the ones who will take over when we leave.

I too, Chelsea, threw myself into writing without really knowing standards and rules. But talking to the editors about my articles really helped, especially if I was in the room as they were being copy-edited. It was sort of a constructive-criticism session.

I agree with Jeremy too, though. We all have different schedules. I guess this is why we have Media Lab.

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