What is brainstorming in student writing

When students write

Student journalism is not only popular in Innsbruck, because in German-speaking countries it literally gushes in front of student newspapers.

Student newspapers have always played an important role, as they provide a mouthpiece for critical young academics. The individual media sometimes have very different forms. There are student newspapers that deal exclusively with university politics and university life. Others, on the other hand, make space on their pages for cultural workers and the illumination of overall political events. Most student newspapers also see themselves as a training medium for people who want to gain their first editorial experience.

Unsolicited (Berlin, DE)

What are your thematic priorities?

Our thematic focus changes from issue to issue. As a rule, we decide together with the editors on a topic under which the magazine should be, e.g. sex, living space, climate, etc. Most of the articles are then written. Otherwise, the focus is of course on university operations, especially university politics. So we try to address all controversies between students and university management / professors, but we are also happy to let interesting protagonists from the university landscape have their say. Our focus online is balanced, we have many cultural reviews, but we also conduct interviews and write other articles.

What are your unique selling points?

A unique selling point could be our focus on the work of the student parliament. We are independent of any funding from the university and finance ourselves through the sale of advertisements. This gives us the opportunity to critically monitor the work of the university management, but also the student representatives.

What is your process like from brainstorming to the finished sheet?

If, for example, a new issue is planned at the beginning of the semester, we sit down with the old and new editors in our rooms. As the editor-in-chief, we usually already have the first ideas about a particular issue, but first let the editors collect ideas. Often we come to a main topic through article ideas. Then every editor has time to come up with an article idea, which we discuss every week in plenary and help with research. After we have gathered all the articles, we commission the layout artist and illustrator to design the magazine. From a fixed deadline, we then correct the articles in a final editing together with the editors in three runs before they are finalized.

Zurich student newspaper (Zurich, CH)

What are your thematic priorities?

We write about news from the university and ETH Zurich about what's going on in the degree programs and classify what that means for students. We also report on the city's theater, concert and film scene and review current books and albums. To this end, we have a major focus in the middle of each issue. The last few times we have written about the climate crisis, the internship or the nationwide women's strike.

What are your unique selling points?

Our newspaper is delivered directly to their mailboxes for all students at the University of Zurich and some ETH students. Accordingly, our circulation is just under 28,000 copies. In addition, we are completely self-financed through advertising, which in turn allows us to write critically about the university or the ETH. In addition, many of our editors are now seasoned media workers - for example at the “Republik”, the Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) or the “Tages-Anzeiger”.

What is your process like from brainstorming to the finished sheet?

The editorial team meets twice a year for several days and discusses the next six months. The main topics are discussed and decided there. These three to four topic texts are written exclusively by the permanent editorial team. Two and a half weeks before the editorial deadline, the editorial team organizes an open meeting to which all interested students are welcome. There you can then accept and write a suggestion for a news or culture article from the editorial team. After the editorial deadline, the editorial team produces the issue within a week before it is sent to the print shop on Sunday evening.

presstige (Augsburg, DE)

What are your thematic priorities?

Our priorities result from the various sections into which our newspaper is divided. But mainly everything revolves around student issues and student life. In “Weltwärts” we report on news from all over the world that also keep you busy as a student. In “Sideways” there are articles on all topics relating to leisure and culture. Everything that concerns Augsburg and local life belongs to “Heimwärts”. In “Wortwärts” there is space for stories, poems and creative writing. And at “Vorwärts” we deal with topics related to university, studies and professional life. In principle, however, we are not restricted in terms of subject matter; everyone can write about what interests and moves them.

What are your unique selling points?

We have a very wide range of topics and no restrictions on the content. In addition, we are currently only available as an online newspaper, which means that our work processes and tasks are very different from a printed newspaper.

What is your process like from brainstorming to the finished sheet?

“Finished sheet” is relative, as we are only available as an online edition with an average of two articles per week. That's why there is no collective phase of brainstorming, writing and layouting with us. Everyone goes through these phases for each new article and the process is correspondingly different. Basically, of course, an idea is followed by research, then writing and proofreading, and finally the layout and publication.

Libelle (Graz, AT)

What are your thematic priorities?

With each issue, the dragonfly has a different thread that runs through the magazine
pulls. As it is divided into two parts, the center of gravity can vary. At our
last issue were the two focal points "How to survive University" and that
omnipresent topic “sustainability”. Priorities and common threads are for us
important, as they create the harmony of the magazine. Still, the dragonfly isn't just that
shaped by a topic, with between focus and topic as follows
A distinction is made: The focus gives us the direction, the topic is present in the focus in some way. This creates a broad spectrum of subject areas that can be found in one focus.

What are your unique selling points?

The special thing about the dragonfly is its straight style and its wide range of
Information. It not only has a service-oriented part, but also shines
their factual, general political side. For us it's about students as well as
possible to inform. Its straight layout makes it easy to read for every eye.

What is your process like from brainstorming to the finished sheet?

The fundamental generation of ideas takes place on a small scale. Our press staff
Together they think about a main topic that runs through the magazine.
In principle, however, anyone is allowed to write about a topic
Person interested. At the editorial meeting, we then see whether it is in the next
Output fits or not.

ruprecht (Heidelberg, DE)

What are your thematic priorities?

Our thematic focus is on the one hand on university policy and regional reporting, on the other hand we cover the topics of student life, culture and science. On our last page we publish satirical articles. We also have student correspondents abroad. In addition, we do not feel obliged to any worldview.

What are your unique selling points?

With a circulation of 10,000, ruprecht is not only one of the highest-circulation student newspapers in Germany, but is also one of the oldest: the first edition appeared in 1987. Since then we have appeared without a break, three times a semester. In addition, we have never had an editor-in-chief. The editorial team is organized on a grassroots basis.

What is your process like from brainstorming to the finished sheet?

We always meet on Mondays to discuss the topics: anyone can contribute topics, the editorial team votes on whether we should publish an article on the topic. Everyone can also register for articles, write them and take photos. In the final editing, we transform the articles and photos into a newspaper with InDesign. We edit and correct all articles.