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Start the Presses!: A Handbook for Student Journalists
Reviews Index


Start the Presses!: A Handbook for Student Journalists

Printer Friendly Version

Publisher: The Collegiate Network

Editor: Stanley K. Ridgley, Ph.D.

List Price: $14.95

Ages: 15-18 Years

Reviewed By: Robin McDonald

Start the Presses!, edited by Stanley K. Ridgley, Ph.D., with a foreword by William F. Buckley, Jr. is a great resource for starting a conservative newspaper at a local university. A small, hardback book, it fits easily into a notebook, backpack, or purse for easy review.

The book first asks the question, "Why Start a Campus Publication?" and goes into great detail explaining why a conservative newspaper is needed at the local university level, "to champion conservative ideas and opinions" in a world of liberal thinkers. It persuades the reader to become an unbiased voice in a biased world, to speak out among the crowd, because, "Edmund Burke was fond of observing that evil triumphs because good men to nothing to oppose it." Consequently, this book encourages young writers to think for themselves and offer their opinions and observations.

After persuading blossoming writers to initiate a newspaper, the book then covers the more pragmatic steps of publishing a newspaper. It includes the following chapters:
  • Why Start a Campus Publication?
  • First Steps
  • A Story Seminar
  • Publishing Topics
  • Second Steps
  • Trouble Situations
  • Four Attitudes
  • Epilogue: The Battle of Ideas on America's Campuses
  • Appendix: How to Write a Grant Proposal to the Collegiate Network
First Steps is a practical chapter explaining how a publication needs a name and a mission statement, how to recruit staff, and how to start. A Story Seminar and Publishing Topics go over the tasks necessary to publish the first several issues, covering editorial concerns (what types of stories to write and for what kind of audience), and business issues (layout, circulation, and advertising). Some of the topics covered include timeliness, interviews, editorials, and the use of humor.

Second Steps goes over ways to expand. For example, the book explains how to join the Collegiate Network (the company which published this book), involve alumni in the publication, plan for the next year, handle controversial topics, establish an event to help build the newspaper, and build a web site to further readability. Trouble Situations goes over several areas where controversy may appear. These may include the appearance of right-wing conspiracies, school policy versus student needs, newspaper staff issues, experience, and sensitive issues and boycotts.

The Four Attitudes chapter illustrates the four attitudes necessary to publish a newspaper: a commitment to growth, competitive spirit, pragmatic spirit, and a commitment to the future.

Most homeschoolers, teaching at the elementary or lower high school grades, do not need a resource of this type. Its intent is not to teach children or young teens how to write journalistic stories.

Instead, this book is a wonderful resource for a more committed high-level journalism student, newspaper editor, or a journalism teacher who needs ideas for a homeschool cooperative style class. More information is available at the Collegiate Network web site at:
More Information
Available From: ISI Books
Address: 3901 Centerville Road Wilmington DE 19807
Phone: 800.526.7022
Other Notes:

Purchase Now From the Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center

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Robin McDonald
Robin McDonald is a mom who actually does Windows, since she used to work at Microsoft! Robin resigned from her full-time writing job to homeschool her children. She freelances, and teaches art and writing classes.
Copyright © 2003 Eclectic Homeschool Association


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