Categories That Generate Stories for School Newspapers

Sports, events, clubs, profiles, and trends provide plenty to cover

Hands of Caucasian woman typing on laptop in bed
Dmitry Ageev / Getty Images

Working at a high school or college newspaper can be a great training ground for an aspiring young journalist, but coming up with story ideas can be intimidating.

Some school papers have editors who are full of great story ideas. but finding an assignment is often up to the reporter. Interesting stories are plentiful if you know where to look. Here are descriptions of several types of stories to trigger your search for topics. plus examples of real stories involving those topics done by college journalism students:

News

This category includes coverage of important issues on campus and developments that affect students. These are the kinds of stories that typically make the front page. Look for issues and developments that make a difference in the lives of students, and then think of the causes and consequences of those events. For instance, let's say your college decides to raise student tuition. What caused this action, and what are its consequences? Chances are you will be able to get several stories out of this single issue.

Clubs

Student-produced newspapers often report about student clubs, and these stories are fairly easy to do. Chances are your school's website has a clubs page with contact information. Get in touch with the adviser and interview him or her along with some student members. Write about what the club does, when they meet, and any other interesting details. Be sure to include contact information for the club, especially the website address.

Sports

Sports stories are the bread and butter of many school papers, but a lot of people just want to write about pro teams. The school's sports teams should be at the top of the reporting list; after all, these are your classmates, and many other media outlets deal with the pro teams. There are almost as many ways to write about sports as there are teams.

Events

This area of coverage includes poetry readings, speeches by guest lecturers, visiting bands and musicians, club events, and major productions. Check bulletin boards around campus and the events calendar on the school's website for upcoming events. In addition to covering the events themselves, you can do preview stories in which you alert readers to the event.

Notables

Interview a fascinating teacher or staff member at your school and write a story. If a student has accomplished interesting things, write about him or her. Sports team stars always make good subjects for profiles.

Reviews

Reviews of the latest movies, plays, TV shows, video games, music, and books are big reader draws on campus. They can be a lot of fun to write, but remember that reviews don't give you the kind of reporting experience that news stories do.

Trends

What are the latest trends students are following on your campus? Are there trends on other campuses that your classmates might find interesting? Find trends in technology, relationships, fashion, music, and social media usage and write about them.