Jobs, Jargon and Process


Each employee of The Appalachian is an integral part of the newspaper. This means that your role is just as important as anyone else's role on The Appalachian. Here is a brief description of each role:

  • Advisor: available for questions, handles university budgeting and paperwork, as well as experience in journalism
  • Graduate Assistant: assist the Director of Student Publications in staff development and training of staff, facilitate integrated interaction between The Appalachian and The Rhododendron and maintain usability of Student Publications computer assets.
  • Editor in Chief: oversees entire operation; approves elements for publication; held responsible for newspaper actions.
  • Associate Editor for News Operations: oversees all writers and desk editors; available for questions and ensures that writers stay on beat and on deadline
  • Associate Editor for Production Operations: oversees graphic design, photography and copy editing; ensures that the paper gets to the printer in time for publication.
  • Associate Editor for Online Operations: oversees all online content, including online exclusives, uploading of physical paper content and all Web site elements.
  • Writers: cover beat, gather information, write and self-edit stories by deadline, attend staff and writers' meetings
  • Desk Editors: read over all stories for AP and The Appalachian style, grammar, spelling and content, proofs pages before final submission; assign stories to subordinate writers.
  • Photographers: creates visually-stimulating moments through photography, collects caption information and submits photos by deadline.
  • Graphic Designers: create visually-appealing layouts and designs, responsible for ad design
  • Interns: actively learn facets of writing or design; see previous descriptions.
  • Mass Communication Activity Students: assist in smaller tasks, such as proofing or data collection in order to fulfill department of communication program requirements; are not considered staff members.

The Newspaper Process

  1. Writers cover beats and obtain story ideas, interviews & information
  2. Photographers and writers collaborate to find photograph ideas and photographers collect photographs
  3. Writers and photographers turn in stories/pictures for deadline
  4. Associate Editor for News and desk editors read over stories
  5. Associate Editor for Production sets up digital pages for ad and story layout
  6. Graphic Designers place stories, photos graphics and ads onto pages
  7. Editor-in-Chief and copy editors proof
  8. Pages are electronically submitted to the printer

Newsroom Jargon

Here are a few definitions for some common newsroom terminology:

  • Banner: the top of the front page; also known as the flag
  • Beat: a specific area of writer specialization
  • Byline: the "who wrote it"
  • Caption: the information accompanying a photo
  • Column Inches: the length of stories
  • Editorial: written by the editorial board, unsigned
  • Gimmick Heads: Catchy headlines above certain photographs (stand-alones)
  • Gutter: the space between columns
  • House ad: an ad produced by the paper, for the paper
  • Jumps: the "see page..."
  • Kicker: a headline above the remaining story package
  • Lede/lead: The basic necessary info of a story, boiled down to its bare essentials and used to tease the rest of the story for its readers
  • Masthead: the list of editorial board members placed above the editorial
  • Mugshot: small photo of important people in a story
  • News Briefs: short synopses of breaking news
  • News Hole: the area of a page dedicated to editorial content
  • Nut Graf: the accompanying paragraph that explains the "meat" of the story
  • Opinion Column: written by writers and accomplished by staff mugshot
  • Rules: lines to separate stories on a page
  • Stand-alones: Photos that do not accompany a story
  • Teasers: Tidbits of information with page numbers on the front page


Student Media
Plemmons Student Union
263 Locust St.
Boone, NC 28608
Adviser: Position Currently Vacant

The Appalachian
Suite 217, Plemmons Student Union
Boone, NC 28608
(828) 262-2157 (business office)

The Peel
Suite 218, Plemmons Student Union
Boone, NC 28608