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Page created by: Leah Hanley

Hot off the press

The staff of the Red & Black, pose for the 1962 Pandora. From the left - C. McIntyre, J. Bagnato, L. Marines, H. Summerfield, W. Shaw, J. Lawton, A. Vilar, J. Parker.

The Red & Black is W&J's own newspaper organization that was founded in 1909. Student-based and with an activity advisor, the organization is responsible for producing its own content, photos, and layout. The newspaper consists of five main sections : News, Opinions, Arts, and Sports. All sections are designed to present the student body with new and interesting information that is related to the college campus. The newspaper continues to strive for excellence, and in 2005, the Society of Professional Journalists named the Red & Black one of the "best overall nondaily student newspapers in the northeast in 2005."

The group holds staff meetings every Thursday in the Red & Black office in the Rossin Campus Center. Staff meetings give the students a chance to share information, assign stories, and collaborate new ideas. To encourage writer's participation and success, meetings always begin by awarding the "Red & Blacker of the Week," who has recently shown outstanding membership, either through writing a popular article, or taking on more responsibility within the organization. The Editor-in-Chief awards the winner with a press hat to wear for the rest of the meeting.

The most influential part of the meetings occurs after this award, when writers are given a chance to critique each other's work. In a routine called the "Oreo Method," each section is reviewed in a conversation beginning with a positive aspect, followed by a constructive criticism, and followed by another affirmative observation. Next, all section editors are given a chance to assign their stories for the week. To aid in this process, most section editors forward their assignments to an e-mail list-serve of staff members days before the meetings. This way, writers who want specific articles are able to claim them in advance, reach sources sooner, and produce more successful articles. All articles that remain unassigned must be assigned to writers during the Thursday meetings. For this reason, staff meetings are mandatory for both writers and section editors.

Though the Red & Black is constantly recruiting new members, the group usually has over fifteen writers, five section editors, two copy editors, one editor-in-chief, and Dale Lolley, the group advisor who is a Sports writer for The Observer Reporter.

Even you can become a writer

The most important steps to keep in mind when writing a newspaper article are relatively simple: credible sources are essential, analyze audience as knowledgeable college students and professors, and write articles with the "layering method" of presenting most important information first. Articles that interest the writer are easiest to create, as most newspaper articles present limited background information. Sports articles require prior knowledge and sports lingo, opinions articles require arguments founded on specific events or ideas, and arts articles require an ability to critique productions. Reading a previous article from the Red & Black or any other newspaper will present a structure for the format of your article.

To create a successful article, first gather information. Talk to everyone: students, professors, townsfolk. Gain a general knowledge of your subject, acquire opinions, and understand how your event came to be. Include quotes from these sources in your article. After creating your article, take time away from writing. Next, proofread your article for typos, formatting errors, and sequencing information. To be printed, all articles must be submitted by 8pm, Monday before each Thursday publication. All staff members are available for assistance through personal e-mail, and also through their office hours in the Red & Black office.

Report from the reporter

Drew Schroeder from the Red & Black

Where to Start

Anyone interested in writing for The Red & Black is welcome to attend any Thursday meeting. New members are encouraged to relax and listen during meetings and to take on stories with limited guidance from section editors or other writers. Information sheets are dispersed before new writers take on their first stories, including "Writing Do's and Don'ts" and "Steps to a Successful Newspaper Article."

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