Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

If you’re reading this paper, it’s possibly crossed your mind that you’d like to try your hand at writing for it. The Gazette thrives on the energy of its volunteers. It is the primary source of student-oriented information on campus and as such, strives to reflect as much of the student perspective as possible. What’s more, The Gazette is a valuable forum for training students in all aspects of journalism. Publishing a daily paper requires time, passion and dedication from everyone involved. It isn’t easy, but if journalism is what you truly love, The Gazette can teach you far more than journalism school.

So, if you’re aiming to become a journalist, if you want to write an article from time to time or are merely curious, let the following breakdown serve as a primer on how we work. Thus you’ll know what to expect when you finally drum up the courage to walk through our office doors.

Getting Started
One thing long-time editors of the paper will tell you is how intimidated they were first entering the office. Room 263 is one large room composed of a great number of desks and computers abuzz with activity. All eyes may seem like they’re on you when you first enter, but be aware that everyone in the room has endured a similar experience. Think of it as the first test of courage.

At the front desk you’ll meet James Hayes, The Gazette’s Managing Editor. After a handshake and a greeting, he’ll ask you what you’re interested in doing. For any new volunteer, there are opportunities to write in News, Sports and Arts and Entertainment, as well as take photos or draw cartoons. The editors of each section are responsible for ensuring that you have something to do, and get it done on time.

Moving up the Ranks
To begin, editors will have you write minor pieces, which could include covering smaller-profile events or writing CD reviews. Upon producing five pieces for the paper, you’ll become an official staff member. Your name will appear in the staff list in the bottom right-hand corner of the Opinions page. As you produce more pieces and gain notoriety around the office, you’ll be given the opportunity to write bigger, higher-profile pieces. It is important that you get to know your section editors; we’ll be providing you with opportunities to socialize with the rest of The Gazette’s staff throughout the year. Columns are reserved solely for section editors, with some exceptions.

At the beginning of second term our internship program begins. The program gives interested volunteers the opportunity to train closely with section editors. You’ll learn layout, editing, and participate in editorial board meetings. Interning is the next step toward applying for a section editor position on next year’s editorial board in March. (Though anyone can apply for a section editor position,) interning is necessary for learning how the paper functions and acquiring the skills necessary to running a section.

Rules Governing Behaviour
We retain the right to turn away volunteers after frequent misconducts. We look for is a volunteer’s punctuality, easiness to work with and adhere to The Gazette’s Code of Ethics. Inventing sources for your stories or plagiarising articles are examples of common but serious misconducts.

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