Journalism Bootcamp

Journalism Bootcamp

It can be helpful to start the year off with a few weeks of bootcamp as training for new staff and a refresher for the returning staff. I usually start this off by covering the staff manual, and then let the editors teach the rest of the topics themselves.

They say that you know you really have learned something when you can teach it to someone else, so I think this is a great opportunity to have your editors lead these sessions. At first it can be a little nerve-racking to let go, but it can also be really empowering when they realize the publication is really in their hands. 

Preparing for their mini-lesson will help them to remember how they felt when they were new on staff and be sure to cover all the little things they’ve learned along the way. (Be sure to pay close attention to their lesson and make sure they aren’t teaching bad habits/shortcuts and don’t leave anything out that is important.)


lead by the copy editor


Interview question writing, interview skills and practice. News, editorial, feature (& yearbook story), headlines, subheads, captions

lead by the design editor


Basic terminology, anatomy of a spread, InDesign (or your software) basic tools and controls, layout do's and don'ts, requirements for spreads for each publication

lead by the photo editor


Parts of the camera, settings, rules of composition, how to tell stories with your photos, equipment checkout procedures, how to shoot school events, how to shoot head shots, event rules/expectations, how to upload, name, organize photos, photo editing basics (color correction, cropping, tips & tricks)

lead by the business manager or EIC


How to sell advertising (newspaper ads or senior yearbook ads), overview of how we run social media, expectations for marketing involvement for all staff members, etc.