Student journalist resources

This guide has been developed to help Michigan State University School of Journalism students through the process of creating, editing and posting news content for the Spartan Newsroom and other affiliated projects.

Please use the menu to select from various help topics.

Quick tips for posting to the Spartan Newsroom website

Once your work is through the editing process, you build your stories on the Spartan Newsroom website. The site runs on a customized version of WordPress. It is the same site used by a variety of classes, including Focal Point and Capital News Service.

Log in with your username and password. See your instructor if you have trouble logging in. (Your user account must be set up before you can log in for the first time.)

Use the Spartan Newsroom Help Guide for information on formatting different kinds of stories and using the site’s special features.

Your byline is automatically formatted by the site. Do not include it in your post. If you have a double byline with another, see an instructor for help.

Write your story in Google Docs or another word processing program. Then, copy and paste the text into the Spartan Newsroom website. SeePosting a News Article“; for video-based stories, see “Posting a Video Story.”

To add media (photos, audio, videos, ASFs, charts, graphs, etc.):

  • Add a photo by first going to the Media Library and uploading the image. Photos must have captions and photo credits. These should be included with the image in the Media Library. Copy the caption information in to the Alt Text area. Then, go to your post to add the photo to your article. Generally, use the Featured Media button to insert your photo if it’s the MAIN photo or the only photo with your story. Please be patient when uploading and be careful that you don’t upload multiple versions of the same image. See Adding photos and galleries to an article
  • We highly recommend Flourish to make charts, data maps and fact boxes. They can be easily embedded into a post by simply copying the “Published” link (click on “Export & Publish” button in Flourish) and pasting it into the desired location in your article. See Alternative Story Forms, Charts and Data Maps using Flourish
  • If you have a short, text-based fact box, would like to put a pulled quote in your story or if you want to link to a sidebar or related story, use the Module Wrapper.
  • Videos should be hosted in a video hosting account like YouTube or Vimeo. Audio should generally be hosted in an audio hosting service like Soundcloud. You can place your video into a post as Featured Media, which will put the video at the top of the post, or you can place audio or video anywhere throughout the story. See Adding video or audio to an article

Write a great headline. Here are some tips for headline writing.

Use Categories and Series. You can ignore Tags. Select all categories that are applicable to your story. Use the Series box, ONLY IF YOUR WORK IS PART OF A SPECIAL PROJECT or is work produced as part of Capital News Service, Focal Point or another high-level class. If you don’t know if your work is part of a special project, it probably isn’t.

Send your story to your instructor for review. Students generally don’t have the power in the Spartan Newsroom site to publish. So save your story with the status of Send to (your instructor). Don’t forget to save!