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 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. No need to include it in your post. If you have a double byline, see an instructor for help.

We recommend you write your story in Google Docs or another word processing program. Then, copy and paste the text into the Spartan Newsroom website. See Posting a news article

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

  • Add photos to the Media Library. 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. Generally, use the Featured Media button to insert your photo if it’s the MAIN photo or the only photo with your story. See Adding Media
  • We highly recommend Flourish to make charts and data maps. They can be easily embedded into a post. See xxx
  • 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. If video is the main part of your story OR is the main visual element, follow these instructions to embed your video into a post.   This will put your video at the top of the post, and will create a screen grab from the video for a preview. You also can use the embed code for your media to place that media anywhere throughout the story.

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.

Advanced Tools: Try the Knight Storytelling Tools: http://news.jrn.msu.edu/student-journalist-resources/embedding-knight-storytelling-tools/

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!