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By clicking on one of these links you will be leaving this site. Eastview High School, The Lightning Press, nor District 196 can take responsibility for the content published on other websites.

All newspapers follow specific guidelines to layout and design.  Below is a list of some of the things that Lightning Press writers consider when writing a story and some factors Lightning Press editors consider when putting together a page.

           For a list of newspaper terminology, click here.

The Lightning Press recommends that students interested in journalism enroll in Journalism A and B

Inverted Pyramid Writing

Writing a newspaper article is different than writing a five paragraph paper for English. Readers of a newspaper want to get the most important facts first. They may not even continue reading past the third paragraph or so. That is why writers must give the 5 w's (who, what, where, when, etc...) in the first paragraph or two.  

Also keep in mind that if someone opens up their page and sees a lengthy paragraph, they are not likely to read the article. Instead of long paragraphs, include many short and to the point paragraphs. Start a new paragraph each time a new quote is added or new information is added. 

Modular Design

All stories (and anything accompanying stories, like photos or graphics) are designed in rectangular shapes. The entire page of a paper is made up of rectangles.

Pages should have both copy (articles) and graphics—a text heavy page is not inviting to most paper readers.

Headlines, Decks, and Bylines

Headlines look good in different fonts, they should be LARGE, attention grabbing, and creative. Headlines should  in BOLD and above the entire story (not just one column) or beside it.

Decks are the “sub-headline” in a smaller version of the same font. They should NOT be BOLD, but they may look good italicized.

Bylines include the name and credentials of writer—name is 12 pt. font normal and credentials are on the next line in 12 pt. italicized:
Deck Sample
by Joe Schmoe
Lightning Reporter

Columns and Spacing

A standard page has four columns. Stories should not stretch across multiple columns and columns should not vary in width. 

Newspapers usually do not look good when they have big gaps of white space. A little extra is not a problem so long as it does not  look as if it blends two different stories together. If it does a line can be used to separate the two articles. Lines should not meet  with text as they are only a frame, and should be used sparingly.

Photographs, Cartoons, and Graphics

    • EVERY photograph must have a caption AND a photo credit (Photographer: Joe Schmoe)
    • Caption has a bold catch-phrase, then a colon, and then the caption in normal 12 point Times New Roman font
    • Avoid the postage stamp/business card size art—don’t be afraid to supersize photos and cartoons, these are the elements that pull readers into a story—make them attention getting!
    • Crop photos!  Only include the center of attention  
    • Every picture needs a person in it!

Pull Quotes and Text Wrap

A pull quote is a quote from an article that is "pulled out" and enlarged to add visual interest. Text wrap is when a word is relocated to the next line because it is too big to fit on one line. These elements can be used to lengthen or shorten the size of a story.

Shading and Boxes

Creatively placed boxes and use of shading can add an extra visual appeal to a page. They can be used to highlight a special message or simply to make a page look better. Shading should be used lightly enough around black text to preserve clarity.

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