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Like most of my reading responses, several focused on the differences between the Setonian and other, larger student newspapers. I wrote about how some people on staff write a "how to" guide for their particular position, as opposed to a full manual. I didn't know that there was a staff manual. I've been on the staff for three years and I have not seen it or heard of it. I guess that shows how useful it is to everyone. The author also gave suggestions on the process one could go through to become an editor. I wrote about how there isn't any competition for position on the Setonian, so no formal application is necessary.

This section of the book was focused on the legal problems that newspaper can run into. Libel is a big concern and I learned that it really only applies to people who aren't already in the public eye. Politicians can be bashed in opinion editorials and letters to the editor, but their young children, for example, are typically not commented on. I disagreed with the author when it was suggested that possible topics for a student newspaper could be about websites that rate teachers and the comments they have. Those kind of subjects are more for gossip and pop magazines. Obscenity was another controversial issue. Though you shouldn't remove words from people's quotes, removing obscene language keeps the newspapers classy.

SNSG Ch 15


“…a staff manual is a guidebook that will help staffers do their jobs... You may also want to include important campus phone numbers, maps, department listings and other documents to help new staff members.” - Ch. 15, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 142.

The Setonian doesn’t have a staff manual, but sometimes certain editors create a “how to” guide for their particular position. I include a list of ways to contact students and faculty when I send out news assignments. It’s much easier that writing it out to each individual that asks.

SNSG Ch 14

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“Many student newspapers relish the freedom of being able to set four-letter words in type. Others see using obscene language as unprofessional.” - Ch. 14, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 130.

I’ve never had a problem with students swearing during interviews. If anything they’re too careful about censoring themselves. They always nervously ask, “You won’t make me sound stupid, right? You’ll make me sound smart?”

Though some may argue that obscenities should not be removed from a quote because they show passion, I think that it would make them sound unintelligent. This isn’t true for verbal speech, but I think newspapers have a classy quality to them and obscene language would damage that.

SNSG Ch 13

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“Even if the statement didn’t originate with your staff, if your newspaper or Web site publishes it, you can be held liable.” - Ch. 13, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 122.

I didn’t know that libel wasn’t allowed in letters to the editor or columns. Apparently it doesn’t matter what form it takes, as long as they publish it, they are at fault. It just seems like politicians are trashed everywhere - on television, in opinion pieces and columns.

Individuals write damaging statements about them and they publish hostile statements made by other politicians as well. Does libel not apply to notable people? I’ve heard of celebrities suing for libel so perhaps it just doesn’t apply to political figures?

SNSG Ch 11, 17


"At Georgetown University, students looking for the inside dope on particular courses can go to The Hoya's "Course Review" section and find out how other students rate the course. There they can find a statistical analysis of such key points as the number of exams, studying time required per week and whether students felt they learned much." - Ch. 17, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 164.

In both chapters, the author gives story ideas that I thought weren't really permitted in papers, even school papers. The author recommends writing about which teachers are popular, what students are saying about certain professors and courses at rating websites. Such topics don't seem very professional.

SNSG Ch 10

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“Most student publications have a relatively rigorous policy for selecting the top editor… Generally candidates have to go through a formal process that may include writing a letter of application or an action plan, interviewing with a selection committee and making a presentation to the staff.” - Ch. 10, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 78

This is one of those times when the book’s advice isn’t remotely applicable to the Setonian. There is never any competition for the position of editor-in-chief, or any editorial positions, so it’s impossible to have a lot of standards or any formal process.

The Universal Experience of Newswriting

The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, by Rachele Kanigel, discusses the advantages of being a student journalist. She believes that because of the typically young age of students, they have unique contributions to make. And though this book was written for an audience of staff members that participate in large student newspapers, I still find the information applicable to the very small staff of the Setonian. I have yet to read a chapter that isn't relatable in some way.

Large or small, all newspapers function in similar ways. They all use language that relates to their readership and they all have the same problems, like worrying about false sources. Regardless of the size of a student paper, they are the best way to gain experience in journalism.

And with the Internet, student newspapers can put their content online and watch it grow. They can gain experience in new media as well as journalism. Each new group of staff members can contribute more innovative applications to their campus newspaper's website so that it is constantly evolving.

SNSG Ch 6-9


“Student newspapers should offer upclose reporting on college life and culture… Young journalists want to be lke older professionals and don’t realize that their greatest resource is being themselves - young and surrounded by student life.” - Ch. 8, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 64

This chapter is about the arts and entertainment section about how being young means we have a different perspective to offer. However, I think this can be applied to all of the sections.

When writing news articles on topics that the Tribune Review has already covered, I’ve found they often miss important details. This is probably because we have more access to the SHU staff than they do. Our contacts are better and easier to access.

EOJ Ch 1-3


“Where 1.0 was all about establishing an online presence and providing news, information, and entertainment for users to consumer, Web 2.0 is all about engaging people in many ways, empowering them to become active participants in the communication process. Indeed, we have entered the age of the ‘We’ in new media.” - Preface, The Elements of Online Journalism by Rey G. Rosales

It makes sense that we would find ways to adapt and utilize the Internet in new and improved ways. We have moved beyond the “exploration” phase of all that is the Internet and are now personalizing it to fit our unique tastes.



"Translate jargon. Interpret bureaucratic, legal, scientific or technical language for readers." - Ch. 5, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 42

Technical language can't be used in general newspapers because the audience is wide. They can only be used in magazines or journals with specific audiences. Internet jargon is being used in most general newspapers, however, because they are becoming common terminology.

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