A primer on your college newspaper
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 19:04
What is The Ranger?
Students in journalism classes here produce The Ranger, a weekly student newspaper that hits stands on campus by 8 a.m. Mondays during most weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Journalism students also produce The Ranger Online at www.the ranger.org, which is updated frequently, including the summer.
These represent the only independent sources of information in the Alamo Community College District. Publications adhere to the standards of journalism practiced in the profession and give students realistic experiences, including free exercise of First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and with a long tradition of support from the administration of San Antonio College.
Students in journalism classes and in staff positions plan the publications and produce news stories, editorials, features, calendars, photos, videos and slide shows, as well as edit, design and lay out print and electronic publications.
Why should my students care?
The Ranger provides news and information about the Alamo Colleges with emphasis on this college. (A limited number of copies are distributed at other district colleges and facilities.) In addition to “hard” news on college and district issues, controversies, happenings and people, students can learn of upcoming events, programs, scholarships and academic and extracurricular opportunities in The Ranger.
How can I contribute to the People page and calendar?
Let The Ranger know as early as possible when planning an event that might make a good People photo — scholarship awards, club meetings, fundraisers, presentations in classes and so on. For the calendar, email complete information on upcoming events two weeks in advance.
How else can I contribute?
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints (both must be signed) and let us know when you have ideas for stories.
Reporters and editors are assigned beats (areas of coverage), but they can’t be everywhere and know everything.
Think ahead and let the staff know of upcoming events well in advance. Agree to answer questions when called upon for your expertise or involvement in a potential story. Then be willing to spend some time with a reporter (and/or photographer) to provide information and answer follow-up questions as the story progresses.
Please, please, please promptly return phone calls from The Ranger. Often, a story or photo can’t be published without verifying that last detail. (It also helps if you remember the reporter or photographer’s name when calling the newsroom …)
Who determines what goes in?
Ranger editors and reporters under the supervision of faculty advisers determine the editorial content of the publication based on news value, ethics and the satisfactory completion of students’ work by deadline. Advertising space is available and sold at competitive rates.
Can I approve a story, photo or video before publication?
No publication worth its ink or bandwidth allows sources to preview content before it is published. You may request that reporters verify facts or quotes with you.
What if something is incorrect?
Let The Ranger know. Call the reporter, photographer or editor and be specific about the mistake. The Ranger is a student publication and students are learning. They also learn by dealing with the consequences of inadequate or sloppy newsgathering and having to write a correction.
Will The Ranger always run a correction?
Yes and no. Definitely, if the mistake is a serious error, if someone is misidentified, a name is misspelled or the public is served by a correction. If the perceived error is a matter of interpretation, a clarification may be run. You can write a letter to the editor if you believe you were misquoted. Corrections and clarifications will run in subsequent issues. For The Ranger Online, major corrections usually are noted at the top of a posted story. Published content is not removed from the online archives.
What are other opportunities to interact with The Ranger/?
• Chalk Day during National Newspaper Week in October celebrates free speech. Staffers hand out chalk and encourage students to “express themselves” by writing or drawing on sidewalks in the mall.
• Ranger Source Awards at the end of each semester treat sources to home-baked goodies or ice cream and hand out awards for sources that range from the “Mother Hen Award” to “Big Tipper.”
• Edith Fox King Lecture brings a Pulitzer Prize winner or other outstanding professional journalist to campus for a lecture. (Two Pulitzer-prize winning speakers were former students).
• The college chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists sponsors speakers and activities throughout the year.
• The Urban Journalism Workshop for High School Students brings 16 high school journalists to campus for a two-week boot camp each summer.
• Charting Your Course is a one-day conference for high school journalism students and their advisers. Encourage teens to participate.
•Regularly check The Ranger Online for coverage of all of the above, breaking news and meeting updates.