Series to focus on newspaper basics


The mystery of understanding how a newspaper works soon will be solved for some students.

The Student Association Minority Relations Committee is starting a series of workshops that will enable students to get a better understanding of what really goes into the complete production of a newspaper.

Collin Halliman, the minority relations advisor for the SA, said the group will be geared towards minority students, but “is open to everyone who wants to make a difference,” he said.

“By the spring ‘94 semester, we hope to have 20 to 40 students attending regularly. I do not feel students will benefit from attending only once,” Halliman said.

The workshops will be sponsored by the SA, the journalism department, the Black Student Union, Lifeline and The Northern Star.

The reason the journalism department wanted to help establish the workshops is to give minorities who have an interest in journalism but do not feel a part of the journalism community the opportunity to articulate their concerns and feelings about journalism, said Daniel Riffe, chair of the journalism department.

He said there are many national organizations looking to recruit minorities into the field of journalism.

“There is a crying need for minorities in the field of journalism, and we want to promote journalism as a career.” Riffe said.

The focus of the workshops is to give students the fundamentals of newspaper production. Every aspect of a newspaper will be discussed and the students will be learning the basics about writing, advertising, layout and production.

The workshops will give students the opportunity to develop their own assignments and have them published in the Star and in Lifeline, Halliman said.

“If we educate students on the fundamentals of a newspaper, they will become more interested in working for the different papers, and the different aspects of it,” he said.

There are different learning advantages to these workshops, including receiving internship credit for the workshops.

“There are a lot of good minority journalists who for whatever reason do not feel comfortable working at the Star. And we want them to feel comfortable working at a large paper, and not just at NIU,” Halliman said.

Halliman hopes to have every SA-sponsored organization participate regularly in the workshops. The members will act as a liaison between the two groups.

“I would like one member from each organization to be a part of the workshop. It is hard to expect people to know what is going on if there is no avenue of communication,” Halliman said.

By the spring semester, there will be weekly workshops, Halliman said.

The program will be run by the SA Minority Relations Committee and will be taught by the instructors from the journalism department. There also will be special guest speakers.

The first workshop will be at 8 p.m. Monday in the Heritage room in the Holmes Student Center. This orientation meeting will focus on the distribution of the funds and finding out what issues the students wish to focus on.