by Linda Barrington
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair
Wisconsin Mentor

Kristin Burkemper and staff

During a break between sessions, newspaper adviser Kristin Burkemper has a chance to meet with the three editors-in-chief as they explain some changes they want to make for the new school year. Photo by Linda Barrington

From the senior editor who is anxious to make the publication even better than last year to the freshman reporter who is unsure of what she’s gotten herself into, back-to-school journalism workshops provide excitement, motivation and instruction as well as support and guidance for everyone on staff.

Two of my mentees at Whitefish Bay High School (Milwaukee, WI.) asked me to help out with one day of their instruction last week by teaching mostly new staff members how to use InDesign and Photoshop, create infographics, and design great layouts.

Whitefish Bay newspaper, Wisconsin

A Whitefish Bay publications student concentrates on applying color to shapes and frames in InDesign. The session was part of a two-day back-to-school journalism workshop for the staff. Photo by Linda Barrington

Kristin Burkemper’s newspaper editors helped out the new editors as I explained how to use InDesign. In the afternoon Cassie Medved took her mostly new yearbook staff to the library to study samples of 2012 CSPA Crown layouts for design ideas while I continued to work with just the newspaper staff on layout ideas.

The next day the editors took over with a standing-room-only crowd of newspaper staff members, introducing them to the staff manual and providing instruction on the different types of journalistic writing: news, opinion, feature, sports.  The Whitefish Bay newspaper and yearbook are both after-school publications, so the back-to-school workshop is an important introduction to the year for staff members.