Pros and Cons of Working at a School Newspaper
When I'm not writing for SparkNotes or fighting thugs as Justice Man (Man of Justice), I'm the Assistant Editor at The Broadside, Oregon's largest community college newspaper. We put out 16 pages of full-color print a week while maintaining a website and we even manage to have fun while doing it. Not everything's sweetness and light, however.
Pro: A better environment than you'll ever find working at a college. Student employees can only have so much fun serving coffee or tutoring math pariahs, but at a newspaper people are usually doing what they love—whether it's writing, photography, videography or pagination. Plus, writers are just cool people. We at SparkLife should know.
Con: Long hours and/or little to no pay. The long hours don't apply unless people strive to do their best, and it can be frustrating if they don't. Sometimes a paper pays its students and sometimes they're volunteers, but there's never a lot of money put into campus newspapers.
Pro: You can put out a product to show off for years. You won't always be proud of the result of all the sweat, blood and tears, but the times you are will outweigh the times you aren't.
Con: Not everyone will take you seriously. Even students who work for the paper.
Pro: You can find out what you want to do for a career. If writing or photography or editing isn't your thing, it's a good thing you didn't get a degree in it and then figure out, right?
Con: It can be frustrating while you're figuring it out.
Pro (for guys): You'll get all the girls. When people think "reporter," they usually think "Clark Kent unbuttoning his shirt," and when they think of "photographer," they think of Peter Parker in spandex. All of this is 100% true. Ask anyone.