A typically beautiful evening glow over the Green
« All Posts by this Blogger
A photo of The Dartmouth's office. There are several office chairs, a bulletin board full of papers, and computers visible next to an open window.

This fall, I began writing for the campus newspaper, which is called The Dartmouth. The Dartmouth is America's oldest college newspaper, and was first published in 1799.

Before coming to Dartmouth, I had never written for a newspaper before. However, if you know me, you know that I enjoy sports. Scratch that—I LOVE sports. From baseball to bowling and hockey to high jump, I will watch just about any athletic competition. As an avid consumer of sports journalism, I have always craved the opportunity to write about sports. 

When The Dartmouth sent out an application to become a writer this fall, I didn't think I had a chance. I didn't have any previous experience in journalism, and I knew that the paper expected high quality writing. Despite this, I decided to apply to write for the sports section. I tried my best to convey my passion, and it paid off!

After a few training meetings with the other sections, the sports section met for the first weekly SAM (Story Assignment Meeting) of the term the next week. This meeting provides a chance for the section to check-in with each other, and this is where the story-writing process begins. We meet in The Dartmouth's office in Robinson Hall, which students call "Robo." Here, our editors present us with story ideas for the upcoming week and encourage us to pitch stories we are interested in. 

About a day later, after picking our story for the week, one of our editors sends us a SAB (Story Assignment Blitz). This SAB contains guidelines for what our story should look like, information regarding when the story is due, and contact information for people we might want to interview. These emails really helped me when I first started writing articles, and they are still great starting points.

The Dartmouth publishes articles online daily, and produces a print copy once a week. Sports publishes on Thursdays and Sundays, but I usually start writing my articles and gathering interviews as early in the week as I can.

Interviewing student athletes is my favorite part of writing for The Dartmouth. I am consistently impressed by the talent and passion my peers have for their sport, and I love getting the chance to hear their stories. Every athlete I cover is excited to see an article being published about their team, which just adds to the joy of the process. I have also had the opportunity to interview several coaches, who have been surprisingly approachable and incredibly supportive.  

One thing that I really appreciate about writing for The Dartmouth is that my editors are incredibly kind. If any of the sports writers need a week off or an extension on their article, our editors are understanding and accommodating. This helps make being a student journalist fun, not a chore or overwhelming commitment. 

Recently, I've had the opportunity to take on a bit of leadership as an associate editor of the sports section. I can't wait to see where this role takes me, and to continue honing my craft and helping my fellow writers do the same.

If you would like to continue your career in student journalism from high school, or try something new during your time at Dartmouth, I encourage you to apply for the paper! Beyond the sports section, there are opportunities to cover campus events, share your opinions, visualize data, and work on your podcasting skills.

Posts You Might Like