The way information is presented can change from country to country
A long table sits on the second floor of the office of University of Northern Colorado’s student newspaper, The Mirror. A stack of newspapers sits at the end of the table. The sound of students collaborating on different story ideas fills the office on Sunday afternoons.
Being familiar with journalism in the United States shows the differences in the United Kingdom after being involved in it while studying abroad. Gaining experience at the University of Chester in Chester, England provides new information and a different perspective regarding student news.
Besides the more well-known differences in writing, such as the different words in the U.S. and in the U.K., student news differs all throughout their news outlets.
Working at The Mirror newspaper provides students with hands-on reporting, writing and editing experience. Students regularly communicate with one another, and a staff meeting takes place every Sunday. At UoC in the U.K., all communication is done through emails.
“Corporate Communications team emails all the interested writers during the term before the edition is published to ask if they would like to submit an idea by a set deadline,” Senior Communications Officer Alexandra Williams said in a January 2019 email. “The Corporate Communications team discusses the idea with each student and sets a word count and a deadline for the story.”
According to the UoC’s latest publication, their Student News magazine informs the students of university news and is an official UoC publication. According to UNC’s website, The Mirror is a student-run independent newspaper, which provides relevant information and stories to the campus.
The Mirror has several students managing and editing the newspaper. The positions include editor-in-chief, managing editor, sports editor and opinion editor. The UoC Student News is designed and edited through several departments, including Corporate Communications and the graphics department.
“The stories are edited by the Corporate Communications team and then sent to the University’s Graphics department who design the publication,” Williams said in an email. “The proofs are proofread and edited by Corporate Communications and amended by the graphic designer and signed off by the Director of Corporate Communications and the Vice-Chancellor before it is printed and distributed.”
Both newspapers allow students to voice their opinions about what stories they enjoy writing about. If students do not have a preference or an idea, the editors help to come up with a topic of interest to write about. The latest publication for UoC includes articles about traveling, food, music, recycling and eating disorders.
“We publish a mix of content from student writers who volunteer to get involved and information from the University which students may find helpful,” Williams said in an email.
The Mirror allows editors to make comments on improvements or corrections in the articles submitted before publications. The writers are responsible for making the edits on their final draft. At the UoC, the editors make all corrections on the stories.
According to the UoC Student News guidance notes, the editors need to make the tweaks to a story according to word limits and styles.
The Mirror currently has approximately 11 members, including editors. The UoC Student news varies on the number of members from edition to edition. The UoC Student News warns students about “holding” some stories until the next edition based on limited space and the high interest in writing.
Besides the differences in communication within each organization, the different editorial roles, the process of editing and the number of members involved, both news sources provide writing and reporting experience for students.
The Mirror’s newspaper publishes articles online weekly at www.uncmirror.com and prints a new edition every month. The University of Chester in Chester, England publishes and prints Student News each term, or three times a year, during autumn, spring and summer.