F.A.Q.

Do I have to be a communications major to work on The Hornet Tribune?

No.  All positions are open to anyone interested in participating.

Will I get paid if I am selected to work on The Hornet Tribune?
Most students who are selected to work on The Hornet Tribune enter as volunteers.  After one semester, all new hires will be evaluated for work performance, work ethic and collegiality.  If a person receives favorable evaluations, they will be placed on the payroll.

What’s the difference between a reporter, editor, and columnist?
A reporter gathers facts and information on an event of public interest and then presents them in a readable style to inform the reader. The reporter is supposed to provide objective observation about events that editors deem newsworthy. Reporters are often assigned to “beats,” or particular areas, such as business, politics, energy, or education.  Sometimes reporters don’t write the stories they cover. For example, a reporter at the scene of a story occasionally must dictate the material by telephone to another reporter who writes it in the newsroom to meet the deadline for the next day’s issue.

An editor serves many functions. While specific responsibilities may differ according to title or newspaper, an editor may do one or more of the following: assign reporters, decide which news events to cover, edit (revise) reporters’ stories, decide what stories get published, determine where each story will be placed in the paper, write headlines, and select photographs for the paper. At larger papers, each section (e.g., Business, Sports) has one or more editors responsible for the content of that section.

A columnist gives opinions, usually his or her own. A columnist is expected to gather accurate information, just as a reporter does, and then comment on that information. A columnist has more latitude and license than a reporter and is not constrained by the rule of impartiality that governs news writing. While they are subject to the editing and approval of one or more editors, columnists can write just about what they please, as long as it remains within the boundaries of good taste and public acceptability, as defined by the paper.

A political (or editorial) cartoonist also gives opinions, but rather than do it with words, he or she does it with cartoons.

Are there leadership opportunities offered within the newspaper?
Opportunities for leadership include editorial and management positions in photography, layout, and design, as well as overall editorial positions.

What is The Hornet Tribune experience really like?
You’ll get the chance to gain hands-on experience in interviewing, brainstorming, layout and design, photography, and learning journalistic integrity. Production weeks are hectic, just like in the real world. This is a real newspaper with real deadlines and roadblocks, but with the support of your fellow students, it is a great environment for learning and having fun.

Different titles appear under reporters’ names, such as Correspondent, Staff Reporter/Writer, and Editor. What do they mean?
Just about every story in The Hornet Tribune has a “byline” – a person’s name telling the reader who wrote the story. Under the name is a title, indicating the reporter’s affiliation with The Hornet Tribune.  The Hornet Tribune Staff means the person who wrote the story is a full-time or part-time employee of the newspaper. The Hornet Tribune Correspondent means the writer has just begun and is working to become a Staff Reporter/Writer.  For some stories, no byline is provided, just the source of the articles, such as Associated Press or other wire services.

What do labels such as “News Analysis” or “Commentary” mean when I see them in an article?
The Hornet Tribune tries to provide signals to its readers, to help them understand what they’re reading. These labels are signals.

Basic news writing should provide the facts and an objective report of a particular event – the “who, what, when, where, why, and how. ” To provide more background to the reader, however, editors allow and encourage writers in certain cases to go beyond basic news writing. Here are some labels and what they mean.

News Analysis is an essay with a central theme that goes beyond facts and statements attributable to sources. It provides interpretations that add to a reader’s understanding of a subject. A news analysis does not report the news. It discusses the news in a style more literary than a news story, and it is usually a “sidebar,” a related story placed to the side of the main story. It is intended to interpret, explore motives, discuss consequences, point out inconsistencies, explain purpose, and provide perspective. It is not intended to be the reporter’s or the paper’s position or opinion.

Its author should be an experienced writer with expertise on the subject to assure the reader will be given a competent analysis of that subject.

Commentary is written by a columnist and is so labeled to differentiate it from the author’s regular column. Columns of regular Globe columnists normally appear in the same locations in the Globe’s pages on the same days each week. On rare occasions, that pattern is changed because a columnist, for example, might take part in the coverage of a breaking news story. In that case, the column might be used on the front page or in a spot other than where it regularly appears. Then, the column is labeled commentary.

How do you describe the editorial page?
The editorial page contains several elements, including, as the name suggests, the editorials – the opinions or positions of the newspaper on major issues of local or national public policy, such as pending legislation or social or political issues.  The page also carries the daily political cartoon – the opinion of the cartoonist – and the letters to the editor – the opinions of our readers. The page also lists the names and titles of the paper’s senior executives and editors.

What’s the “op-ed” page?
“Op-ed” is short for “opposite editorial,” meaning the page is physically opposite the editorial page. This page carries opinion columns about major news events and current topics. These columns may or may not be written by The Hornet Tribune staff and carry a range of opinions within political or social spectrums.

Sometimes The Hornet Tribune publishes syndicated columnists from other newspapers; sometimes articles from local individuals – business, political, educational, or other leaders in the community.

The Hornet Tribune makes a distinction between the editorial and op-ed pages and the rest of the newspaper. Why?
We do so because The Hornet Tribune makes every effort to distinguish between news and opinion. While some columnists regularly appear in the same position or section of the paper apart from these two pages, the editorial and op-ed pages operate separately from the news pages at The Hornet Tribune.

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