9 free downloads that can help your publication today

It’s the start of a new school year — and that means it’s time to rev up your newsroom. To help you do this, we’ve compiled a huge variety of resources that we hope will make your goals more achievable. You can read the full list on our Info Hub, or catch the highlights every couple of weeks on the blog. Last time, we talked about resources to help you be a better digital journalist.

We all love free stuff — especially when it helps us do better work. This week, we’re featuring nine free PDFs that are jam-packed with journalism advice from our award-winning advisors. They’ll help you with everything from interviewing to improving your organization’s public image.

And there’s plenty more where these came from. Visit the Info Hub to see all the free downloads we have to offer.

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Recruiting, maintaining and motivating your staff

If you’re looking to beef up your staff this year, this slideshow from ACP Executive Director Laura Widmer is an excellent place to start. She offers tips for finding stellar staffers and motivating students to do their best.

Improving your public image

We all know media gets a bad rap. Some of that is unavoidable — but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to change people’s minds. Taking the time to connect with your audience will improve your on-campus relations (and help you recruit a wider range of staffers!). This document offers 10 practical tips for how you can improve your publication’s image.

Interviewing and newsgathering

This is an excellent primer on how to nail an interview with a source — and it’s worth reading in-depth, whether you’re looking to brush up on your skills or you’re just trying to avoid crashing and burning during your first interview. You can also send this to new reporters or use it as inspiration for interview training.

And if you still need more interviewing wisdom (because who doesn’t?), we’ve got another (very) detailed presentation that will offer perspective on interviews, things to look out for and even what kinds of quotes are best to use.

Design inspiration

Stuck in a design rut? Spark some inspiration with these slideshows featuring phenomenal newspaper and yearbook page designs. They’re creative, interesting and out-of-the-box — you’re sure to get a few fresh ideas.

Evaluating staff members

If you’re struggling to keep your staff accountable, regular performance evaluations can help. Consider using this rubric to help you and your staff members identify areas of improvement.

Writing better leads

There are a lot of bad leads out there — and we’ve gathered 27 of the worst. This PDF will help you learn from others’ mistakes and think about ways to write engaging, interesting leads.

Managing legal issues when publishing online

Media law seems pretty intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. This breakdown of legal issues will help you navigate online publishing for your newspaper, broadcast, magazine or any other type of website.