Even though the circulation of print newspapers has been in decline for years, the public still needs to be informed. Having access to a quality source of information (which reports verified and relevant news) that helps people understand their community is a very important part of everyday life. Newspapers can have varying degrees of complexity and sophistication, but there are generalities that apply to all types of newspapers.
Part 1 of 5: Choose the format
Step 1. Determine the purpose of your journal
Also target an audience. Newspapers can report on events taking place in a school, community, neighborhood or organization. They can have a local, regional, national or even international scope. Target your audience and determine the purpose for which you want to publish this journal.
Be realistic about your reach. If you want to publish nationally, think about how you will go about reaching your audience and persuading them to read your periodical
Step 2. Determine the frequency of publication
Newspapers can be published daily, weekly, monthly, or even less often. Think about it and determine how often your readers will want information. Also consider whether you will be able to post articles as frequently as you want. Do you have staff to manage publications on a regular basis? Are you the one who does it all?
Consider starting low frequency posts. Then, as your readership grows and you gain greater financial support, you can release issues more frequently
Step 3. Make decisions about distributing your newspaper
Circulation refers to the reach of your newspaper or the number of copies you will print and put on the market. When you publish online, these numbers are determined by the number of people who visit and read your articles. Ask yourself the following questions: "How many copies am I able to publish?" How could I realistically distribute them?"
Step 4. Define the size of the log
Determine the number of pages and the dimensions of your periodical. Newspaper pages are usually printed in multiples of 4. Smaller newspapers are around 8 pages long while larger ones have many more. Define the number of sections you would like to have in your periodical (news, opinions, etc.) as well as the number of pages devoted to each one.
Step 5. Determine how you would like your journal to be published
Newspapers can be printed in hard copy, but today more and more publications are done exclusively online. Even if you are printing in hard copy, consider providing some of your stories on the internet or at least having some web presence.
Also decide if you will publish your pages in color or in black and white. Publishing online is done in full color, but when making a physical print, the cost may be higher if you add colors. Talk to the printer to find out what options are available to you
Step 6. Think about how to fund your newspaper
Most newspapers are funded by advertising and subscriptions or by funds generated from each issue. That doesn't mean, however, that you should stick to just those solutions. There are some newspapers that do not advertise. However, you necessarily have to think about how you will make money to run the business.
Some newspapers published by an organization are funded through membership fees from that organization
Step 7. Give your newsletter a name
Think about a list of names you can give to your journal. These could include the name of your city, school, specific target community, or something else. As examples, you can consider: Le Parisien, La Voix du Nord, Le Télégramme de Brest, L’Alsace Le Pays, etc. Try different word combinations. The name should be easy to pronounce and remember.
Make sure there is no other newspaper that uses the same name. Indeed, you must avoid taking the risk that your periodical will be confused with that of a competitor
Part 2 of 5: initiate operations
Step 1. Set a budget
Even if you have a minimalist periodical, you should still inject costs into printing and distribution. Publishing an 8-page monthly school newspaper can cost thousands of dollars each year. This budget covers the purchase of paper, ink, a camera for the photographer, incidentals (equipment for reporters) and other costs.
Step 2. Establish a schedule
Designing a journal takes time. Think about how many articles you want to publish and factor in the time it takes for writing and editing. Also consider the time it takes to design the journal as well as the time it takes to print. Set up a schedule so that you know exactly when to approach a specific issue.
- Start with the date you would like to publish your journal and work back from there.
- It can also happen that two situations overlap. So keep this in mind when planning your schedule.
Step 3. Promote journalistic ethics
This is a code that governs the way in which journalism is practiced. Think about the level of objectivity and responsibility your journal will bring, and set limits that you should never cross. Be sure to put these guidelines in writing and apply them with your team.
The National Union of Journalists is an organization which governs the profession of journalism nationally and on its website you will find a lot of information on journalistic ethics
Step 4. Recruit staff
Managing a journal is a lot of work, and you can be more effective when you have a team behind you. You can publish a periodical on your own, but you may be running out of time or money. Find people who share the same vision and the same passion as you.
- Think about the different positions you will need to fill. These may include editors, editors for each section, photographers, graphic designers, web designers, and sales representatives.
- Pay your staff if you can afford it. Even if it's not much, paying them a little money helps to validate their professional contribution.
Step 5. Solicit Advertisers
If you want local businesses to advertise in your newspaper, you will need to invite them to do so. Design a pricing schedule, which is a table that explains the space these businesses will be entitled to based on how much they pay. For example, you can charge € 100 for a quarter page. Your rates will also depend on the number of readers you expect to have.
Offer special contracts to your advertisers if they are willing to occupy advertising space for a certain duration or a certain number of issues (for example for 6 months or for 10 issues)
Step 6. Consult a lawyer
You will need to think about getting legal advice or, at the very least, approaching a lawyer just in case someone gets into trouble because of the information you are posting. Fortunately, when you practice ethical journalism it keeps you from getting into trouble, but you should still be prepared for any eventuality.
Part 3 of 5: Prepare for your first release
Step 1. Hold an editorial meeting
Work with the editors of each section to find new themes to develop. Think about the most relevant or timely news for your readers. Strive to know what your readers need to know.
Make a list of the most important articles and assign them to reporters. Set strict deadlines to ensure that you will receive the work on time for publication
Step 2. Be inspired by your community
Check with her for new stories or press releases. Organizations and other associations could issue official press releases regarding their news. Talk to people in your community to get a feel for the most relevant stories to report.
Step 3. Write well-structured and verified stories
Articles should present multiple points of view and deliver concrete information. They should also be easy to read and engaging. Reporters should interview at least 2 sources, in order to present a balanced story.
Step 4. Edit your articles carefully
Be meticulous about editing. Please ensure that the information provided in the articles is verified and that the details are correct. Grammar and spelling must be flawless. If an article needs to be reviewed, send it back to the editor. When the story falls short of your expectations, consider retaining the article until the next issue. Building a solid reputation for reporting and publishing is very important, especially when this is your first issue.
Step 5. Claim the items you need
Retrieve advertising information as well as illustrations from your advertisers. If you advertise on your newspaper, you need to make sure it looks as professional as possible in order to satisfy your advertisers.
Part 4 of 5: designing the journal
Step 1. Use desktop publishing software
Once on your computer, do the formatting using desktop publishing software like Adobe InDesign. You can also find several other such programs to download by browsing the internet.
Alternatively, you can write and print your articles, then glue them onto a larger sheet if you want your journal to have a more personalized look
Step 2. Lay out the header
The header of a newspaper includes the name of the newspaper as well as other information such as publication date and issue number. You can also add the web address as well as a tagline, if you have one.
Step 3. Use two fonts for your articles
Choosing a large number of fonts will make your journal appear overloaded. The consequence is that readers will find it difficult to focus on your articles. Choose a font that is very readable for the headlines and another for the texts in question. The font size should be 10. Headlines can be bigger, but try to stay consistent. Huge, flashy fonts tend to take up unnecessary space and it is advisable to use them on rare occasions.
You can use a different font for the header, but try to keep it consistent throughout the rest of the journal
Step 4. Make the best news
The most important and timely stories should make headlines. Pair them with eye-catching headlines. Also add the signature of the authors. Classify the rest of the articles under the headings to which they belong.
Pair these items with eye-catching photographs. Add small captions to explain the photos. Do not forget to mention the name of the photographer
Step 5. Arrange the journal in columns
Unlike large blocks of text, arranging articles in columns is easier to read. Divide your page so that there are 4 to 5 columns, of course taking into account the dimensions of the page. However, do not stretch the columns to the bottom of the page. Instead, divide it into 3 vertical sections and make each of them a mini section to place an item or two.
When doing online publications, you can take advantage of more flexibility in the format. It is unlikely that you will arrange your journal in columns. Instead, you will only need to post blocks of text with pictures
Step 6. Insert the advertisements
This is necessary if you are advertising on your newspaper. Make sure the ads occupy exactly the space advertisers have paid for. Think about where you might put these ads. You can place them anywhere in your journal, but some of them might work better for specific sections. For example, if you need to post a concert announcement, consider putting it in the art section.
You don't have to advertise the front page of the newspaper
Step 7. Print your journal
Depending on the size and target audience, you have the option of printing your periodical on your own. You can also put the digital file on a medium and have it printed at a printer. For a more professional print that respects the format of newspapers, you will need to hire a printer specializing in this type of work. Search the internet to find an option locally. It is also possible to use a regional printer.
Part 5 of 5: distribute the newspaper
Step 1. Distribute it to the neighborhood
Give it away for free by doing a door-to-door distribution. However, this option can be very expensive, since you will need to wrap the newspaper in a plastic bag so that it does not get wet. You will also need to print a large number of copies so that you can cover as many houses as possible.
Step 2. Share your newspaper with local businesses
Many local shops or businesses often stack newspapers or flyers near their front doors or cash registers. Then interested customers could take these periodicals away. Talk to shop owners, doctor's or dentist's offices, restaurants and cafes, and other establishments that have space open to the public to see if they would be willing to distribute your newspapers to their customers.
Keep up to date with the speed at which your newspapers are being distributed. You may find that your magazines sell out faster in some stores or areas and need to be restocked, while elsewhere they do not
Step 3. Send your journal by mail
You may already have a readership for your periodical, especially if you are publishing for a non-profit organization. Mail the newspaper to members of that organization.
Contact the post office to find out about the shipping costs for your periodicals
Step 4. Publish your newspaper on the internet
Online newspapers can take different forms. You can publish information using a blog format or mimic the format of a newspaper that can then be read as a kind of online publication. This will give readers the choice of reading the newspaper in blog format and downloading the other option as a PDF or other document.
When choosing online publications, in particular, you should advertise your periodical on social media.This way the public is aware of each new release
Step 5. Place your journal in another journal
Talk to the promoter of another newspaper to see if they can agree to include your periodical in one of its issues. It will probably cost you a lot of money. This is what characterizes this kind of approach.