Who does what at a newspaper?

The publisher takes overall responsibility for the newspaper. A publisher has generally worked at the newspaper for many years. He or she may have started off as a copy editor or a reporter and worked up through the ranks of the newspaper. In the classroom: the publisher can be the principal or a teacher.

An editor-in-chief assigns stories to reporters and writers, edits the stories and picks which stories to use. He or she oversees all aspects of the production of the newspaper and keeps things running smoothly. Editors are very detail-oriented people - they like to correct mistakes and work with a lot of different people to help make the newspaper the best it can be. Editors are good writers, good proofreaders and also are good with numbers, because aside from editing, they also work with budgets.

In the classroom: the editor-in-chief can be the teacher or a student who is an exceptional writer or proofreader.

Section editors are responsible for assigning stories for their sections (food, entertainment, sports, news, editorial, etc.) to reporters and deciding which of the stories and other items to print. These editors might write stories and headlines and lay out the pages of their section. They are in charge of making sure their section turns out well. Section editors have many of the same qualities as editors-in-chief. In fact, many editors-in-chief may have been section editors at one time.

In the classroom: section editors can be various students. Sections can include: school sports, extracurricular activities, editorial, etc.

A reporter gathers the news on a specific topic and writes the stories we read in the newspaper every day. Reporters may write about anything from a fire to a fashion show. Reporters are aggressive, curious and love to write. Reporters are also detail-oriented it's their responsibility to find out every angle of a story.

In the classroom: reporters can be various students.

A columnist writes a column on a regular basis, usually weekly. Columnists write about their personal experiences, interesting people or events in the community. Columnists like to write in a reflective manner. They like to research issues and use their columns to discuss what's going on in the world today.

In the classroom: any student with an interest can write a column. Students can cover school sporting events, movies, current events, etc.

Editorial writers also write about specific topics, but their articles support a certain opinion. For example, if an editorial writer thinks the president has made a mistake, he or she will write about it. Editorial writers have many of the same qualities as a good reporter or columnist - they like to look at all the angles of an issue and write their opinion about the issue.

In the classroom: any student with an interest can be an editorial writer. Writers can use their editorials to discuss their feelings on school policies, politics, current events, etc.

After the reporters, columnists and editorial writers have written their stories, a copy editor proofreads the stories. The copy editor is responsible for making sure the story is grammatically correct and doesn't contain any spelling or factual errors. He/she will also write a headline for the story. Copy editors are very detail-oriented and creative at the same time. They are excellent writers and proofreaders.

In the classroom: all students can be copy editors, proofreading each other's work.

Photographers and artists take photos or draw pictures for the most important and interesting stories. Photographers and artists are very artistic, but also have a feel for how photos and graphics fit with a story.

In the classroom: any student who shows an interest in photography or art can be a photographer or artist.

Layout assistants help the editors arrange the articles, pictures and artwork on the newspaper page. Layout assistants have a good eye for what looks good on a page and like seeing the page come together.

In the classroom: any student with an interest can be a layout assistant.

The production manager supervises the physical production of the newspaper. He/she is in charge of the presses and all other equipment used to print the newspaper. Members of the production department, including the production manager, like to work with heavy machinery. They consider themselves "fix-it" people and are very handy.

In the classroom: at a lower level, the production manager will most likely be the teacher, but at a high school level a student could fill this spot.

The circulation manager oversees the assembly and distribution of the paper. He/she makes sure all the inserts (like the Sunday comics) get put into the newspaper and the newspaper gets to the carriers, so they can deliver it to their customers. Circulation people have high energy levels and enjoy the freedom to work on their own, to assume responsibility and take risks.

In the classroom: the circulation manager is responsible for working with the school to make sure all the school papers get distributed to assistants. This job may fall to either a student or teacher.

The advertising staff sells ads in the newspaper and collects payment for those ads. The advertising staff might also help lay out the pages which contain the ads. An advertising manager oversees the advertising staff. Advertising specialists like to motivate and influence people. They love to sell and want to work where creativity is rewarded.

In the classroom: Students can solicit ads from local businesses or from fellow classmates looking to sell something.

The business manager handles the financial side of the newspaper. He/she is responsible for helping collect money from advertisers, paying the newspaper's bills and making sure the newspaper's employees get paid. Business managers like numbers, analyzing data and working with computers.

In the classroom: The business manager can be a student with a particular interest in math or accounting.