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Advice to Future Mustang Messenger Staff

Rachel Bell, Messenger Reporter

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It’s time to decide what classes we want to take next year, and maybe you’re interested in writing for our school newspaper. It’s a good opportunity, a lot of fun, and it takes a lot of dedication. Here are some tips and tricks for becoming a part of the Mustang Messenger family.

Write what you’re passionate about. That’s what makes the best articles. You may be given assigned articles from time to time, but for the most part, you’re free to write about what you want. We always need more sports writers, but human interest and student life are important too. Maybe start a column about something you care about. Maybe other people will care about it too. A good writer knows how to tailor their interests into something a larger audience will enjoy.

Not all of your articles will make it to print. There will be some months where nothing you write will get placed. Don’t take that personally. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer by any means; the editors always have solid reasons to place what they do, and there’s only so much space in the paper for articles. Not being put in the paper doesn’t mean that particular article can never be read by anyone. Everything you write will go on the Messenger website, and I started a blog to give to my friends and family that I put all my writing on. People want to see what you’re doing, so make sure to let them.

Don’t shirk deadlines. We have to go to print on a specific day every month, and that day can’t be changed around. Balance quality work with timely work. Your other classes are just as important, so write during any free time you may have during the day. It’s difficult to access the Internet on your school computers at home, so do what you can during school hours. It’s not impossible to write at home, but it’s super slow, and that makes it frustrating.

Advertising is an integral part of our operation. That’s how we pay for print. If you know anyone who owns a business that would like to advertise in our newspaper, ask. There’s no harm in at least trying at any place you can think of. The worst they could say is no. Take getting ads seriously. Besides the actual writing, ads are the most important part of our paper, and they’re what ensures we have a paper to put out there. We put our newspapers all around town, so advertisers are getting a much wider audience than just MCHS students and staff. You can definitely use that as a selling point.

Last but not least, have fun. Getting your name out into the world is an exciting opportunity, and your fellow journalists are just as excited as you are. Always be sure to respect their ideas. No idea is a bad idea. Remember to respect differences too; the diversity of the Mustang Messenger is what makes it great.

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