Talisman

WKU Student Publications Policy Manual

TALISMAN

What’s Involved

 Ethics Guide

College Heights Herald

Student Publications Policy Manual

AP/Talisman Stylebook

 

Structure

The Talisman receives a budget from the university and pays for the majority of its expenses from that budget. The total budget for the Talisman is the university allocation plus the amount generated from advertising sales. The Talisman is published once each semester and is free for students.

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Mission statement

Our mission is to represent, connect and communicate with the WKU student body in order to create a beautifully diverse record of life as we know it through high-quality journalism, stunning photography and quirky web content.

We produce a magazine that is published once each semester and a website that is updated daily. Both products are committed to telling meaningful, accurate and relatable stories about our campus and community, allowing staffers the opportunity to gain experience in a professional, student-led environment.

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Talisman Job Descriptions

Editor-in-chief *

The editor-in-chief has the final say on all things Talisman, including staff selection, staff salary and content of the publication itself. The editor:

  • Selects editorial staff.
  • Determines salary for editorial staff.
  • Calls and conducts editorial board meetings and full staff meetings.
  • Works with publishing company representatives.
  • Communicates regularly with advisers about progress toward deadline, including potential problems.
  • Oversees work of all others.
  • Organizes content and determines page numbers with the help of the editorial board.
  • Sets and enforces deadlines.
  • Proofreads and corrects all copy, including headlines and captions at first and second proof printouts.
  • Works production nights.
  • Consults with marketing manager on activities and content.
  • Advises web editor on content, oversees assignments and progress on Talisman site.
  • Sets, posts and keeps weekly office hours.
  • Maintains Talisman email account and voicemail.
  • Works with office staff to organize retreat.
  • Updates the staff handbook as needed.
  • Meets with the university president and provost to personally deliver copies of the magazine.
  • Gathers, organizes and submits deadline bills to Student Publications business manager.

Magazine photo editor *

The photo editor’s primary responsibility is to work with the photographers to make the Talisman a unique, visual experience for students. The magazine photo editor:

  • Recruits, hires, trains and manages a staff of magazine photographers.
  • Calls and conducts photo staff meetings.
  • Manages and generates story ideas.
  • Makes photo assignments and works with EIC to set and manage photo deadlines.
  • Edits and tones all magazine photos.
  • Works with EIC and editorial board on magazine content.
  • Helps ensure staff photographers communicate with staff writers and/or section editors about photo assignments, coordinating visual content with written word.
  • Submits deadline bills to EIC at the end of each deadline.
  • Posts and keeps regular office hours.
  • Makes appointments with staffers to give feedback on photos.
  • Works production nights, proofreading all captions and photos, including printouts.
  • Attends editorial board meetings
  • Communicates regularly with adviser and EIC about progress toward deadlines
  • Ensures all photos and photo captions are ready by the deadlines.

Magazine writing editor *

The magazine writing editor’s primary responsibility is to work with the writers to ensure stories are compelling, accurate and well told. The magazine writing editor:

  • Recruits, hires, trains and manages a staff of magazine writers.
  • Calls and conducts writing meetings.
  • Manages and generates story ideas.
  • Makes writing assignments and works with EIC to set and manage deadlines.
  • Works with EIC and editorial board on magazine content.
  • Helps ensure staff writers communicate with staff photographers and/or section editors about photo assignments, coordinating visual content with written word.
  • Edits all copy before passing on to EIC.
  • Submits deadline bills to EIC at the end of each deadline.
  • Posts and keeps regular office hours.
  • Makes appointments with staffers to revise and give feedback on copy.
  • Works production nights.
  • Attends editorial board meetings.
  • Communicates regularly with adviser and EIC about progress toward deadlines.
  • Ensures all stories are ready by deadlines.
  • Works with assistant writing editor.

Web writing editor *

The web writing editor is responsible for all copy on WKUTalisman.com. The web writing editor:

  • Recruits, hires, trains and manages a staff of web writers.
  • Reports to EIC to set and manage web deadlines.
  • Works directly with web visual editor to:
    • Call and conduct weekly web meetings.
    • Generate story ideas.
    • Publish content on a daily basis.
  • Edits copy before passing on to EIC.
  • Makes appointments with staffers to revise and give feedback on copy.
  • Works closely with magazine writing editor and copy editor to ensure consistency.
  • Gathers and submits payment information for contributing staff writers to EIC after deadlines.
  • Takes on story assignments as needed.
  • Posts and keeps regular office hours.
  • Works production nights.
  • Attends editorial board meetings.
  • Communicates regularly with adviser and EIC about progress toward deadlines.

Web visual editor *

The web visual editor is responsible for all visuals on WKUTalisman.com, including photos, graphics and videos. The web visual editor:

  • Recruits, hires, trains and manages a web visual staff.
  • Reports to EIC to set and manage web deadlines.
  • Works directly with web writing editor to:
    • Call and conduct weekly web meetings.
    • Generate story ideas.
    • Publish content on a daily basis.
  • Edits and tones all web visuals.
  • Makes appointments with staffers to give feedback.
  • Works closely with magazine photo editor to ensure consistency.
  • Gathers and submits payment information for contributing staff writers to EIC after deadlines.
  • Takes on assignments as needed.
  • Posts and keeps regular office hours.
  • Works production nights.
  • Attends editorial board meetings.
  • Communicates regularly with adviser and EIC about progress toward deadlines.

Design editor *

The design editor is responsible for the Talisman’s overall design. The design editor:

  • Recruits, hires, trains and manages a staff of designers.
  • Calls and conducts design meetings.
  • Works with EIC, photo editor and writing editor to develop design of templates and spreads.
  • Designs ads for magazine and/or website
  • Delegates responsibility to design staff and gives designers feedback on their work.
  • Informs EIC of problems locating photos, captions, text, etc.
  • Works with EIC to correct all layouts, proofs and reproofs.
  • Submits deadline bill for staff designers to EIC at the end of each deadline.
  • Posts and keeps regular office hours.
  • Works production nights.
  • Attends editorial board meetings.
  • Communicates regularly with adviser and EIC about progress toward deadlines.

Copy editor *

The copy editor is responsible for correct grammar usage, accuracy of fact and adherence to AP Style in all stories, captions and headlines. The copy editor:

  • Proofreads every magazine and web piece.
  • Assists magazine writing editor and web writing editor with all written content.
  • Checks Camayak consistently in order to stay on task with web content.
  • Works production nights.
  • Attends editorial board meetings.
  • Updates localized style guide as needed.

Marketing manager *

The marketing manager is responsible for keeping students informed of Talisman related events and promoting awareness of the magazine and website across campus. The marketing manager also:

  • Coordinates all Talisman advertising with the College Heights Herald.
  • Keeps track of marketing budget and finances by checking with Student Publications business manager.
  • Produces flyers and table toppers for promotional events and info fairs, such as Master Plan fair, grad fair, etc.
  • Manages volunteers who will work promotional events.
  • Keeps track of staff members’ volunteer hours.
  • Develops Talisman distribution plan.
  • Develops new ways of promoting Talisman awareness across campus.
  • Works with PR and social media coordinator(s) to accomplish goals.
  • Attends weekly/bi-weekly marketing meetings.
  • Attends weekly editorial board meetings.

Assistant magazine writing editor *

The assistant magazine writing editor works with the magazine writing editor to ensure stories are compelling, accurate and well told. The assistant magazine writing editor:

  • Assists magazine writing editor.
  • Maintains contact with staff writers.
  • Edits copy for deadlines.
  • Helps recruit writing staff.
  • Takes on story assignments as needed.

Public relations and social media coordinator(s)

  • Works with marketing manager to promote awareness of the magazine and website across campus. The public relations and social media coordinator(s):
  • Reports to marketing manager.
  • Shares all Talisman web content on Talisman social media platforms.
  • Creates and shares standalone “micro content” for Talisman social media platforms.
  • Assists marketing manager with event planning and overall PR/marketing strategy
  • Attends weekly/bi-weekly marketing meetings.

Staff designers, photographers and writers

Staff designers, photographers and writers regularly produce content for the magazine and website that adheres to the highest journalism standards and fulfills the Talisman’s mission statement. Staff designers, photographers and writers:

  • Develop story ideas with section editors.
  • Produce high-quality work.
  • Turn in finished products on deadline.
  • Help make corrections on proofs.
  • Adhere to AP Style and additional Student Publications rules in all captions and stories.
  • Assist the editorial board on production nights.
  • Attend staff meetings, full staff meetings and appointments made with section editors.

* Denotes a 2017-2018 editorial board member

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Talisman payroll

Before the start of the school year, the editor-in-chief will submit a list of paid positions and recommended salary to the adviser. Each student is responsible for completing any required payroll and tax forms with the university. Editorial board positions will receive a salary and are paid at the end of each month. Checks will be available for pick-up in the Adams-Whitaker Student Publications Center, Room 102. The editor-in-chief is responsible for keeping payroll expenses within the budget.

Staff writers, photographers and designers are paid for each product produced. Some pay rates are included in this policy manual.

At the beginning of the year or upon being hired, staff members will be required to fill out a W-9 form and staffer packet. Other information, such as WKU ID numbers will be required for payment and should be submitted by staff members upon request by the managing editor. When filling out W-9 forms staffers should remember that the address they list on the form will be the address their checks for deadline work will be mailed to. If staffers need their checks mailed to a different address, they should inform the office of Student Publications. Due to unforeseen circumstances, checks may be late from time to time. Patience is greatly appreciated in such instances.

Upon the completion of each deadline, the managing editor will complete all payroll paperwork and submit it to the adviser.

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2017 Payment Schedule

Magazine Writing

Blurb (150 or fewer words) $10

Story (151-350 words) $20

Story (351-500 words) $30

Story (501 or more words) $40

Design

Design work is paid by salary.

Magazine Photo/artwork

NOTE: Photos without accurate, complete and usable captions will be subject to a $5 per photo deduction to be decided by the photo editor, managing editor and/or editor.

Single photo $15

Photo Illustration $15 (at discretion of the editor)

Photo package (3 or more photos) $35

In-depth photo story (multiple events/locations, 3 or more photos $60

Headshot $5, not exceeding $20 per story (unlimited use)

Photo stories that are not assigned by an editor but submitted for an editor’s consideration by a photographer from classroom or freelance work will be a flat rate of $25 per submission.

Illustration $15 (not exceeding $35 per story)

Web Writing

Personal Narrative (no sources) $10

Listicle $10

Story with sources $15

Quiz $8

Web Photo/artwork

Instagram $1

Single photo $4

Gallery $12

Photo Story $15

Video $15

Illustration $8 (not exceeding $20 per story)

Notes

Deadline bill payments will be completed at the end of each deadline by the managing editor but each staffer must sign off on the payment form.

Staffers must complete new staffer packet and submit deadline bill to responsible editor in order to receive payment. The university business office (not Student Publications) will send the check to the address on the deadline payment bill.

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Production process

Producing the Talisman takes teamwork. Each aspect of the team must work together; communicate any ideas/problems and MEET DEADLINES to ensure the Talisman is successful. When one person fails it hinders the work of others and ultimately affects the staff’s ability to meet deadlines. When deadlines are missed it affects the production and delivery date of the magazine. When staffers have a problem with a story or see that they are unable to meet their deadline they should IMMEDIATELY tell their editor or the EIC to see that it can be accommodated or resolved.

Writers and photographers working on the same story should COMMUNICATE with each other to ensure they are working on the same angle and interviewing/photographing the same individuals. It is encouraged that they travel together to meet with subjects as often as possible.

Editorial board

  • The editorial board meets on a weekly basis, or as needed, to discuss the content and progress of each deadline. Meetings may occur at a regularly scheduled time or may be rescheduled periodically to suit to needs of the board.
  • All members of the editorial board may bring story ideas to the table. Staffers should relay their ideas to their editor so they can be considered during a meeting. Ideas will be discussed from every vantage point, some of the questions members may want to consider are:

■ How can we illustrate this visually?

■ Will students want to read this?

■ How does this fit with the Talisman theme?

Section editors

After the board agrees on deadline content, each section editor should write a budget and a list of all the stories in their section for the upcoming deadline. The budget should include:

■ The name of the writer for every story

■ Visual content included on each page (photos and illustrations)

Budgets should be submitted to the managing editor, who will send them to the editor-in-chief for final approval. Section editors should fill out assignment sheets after the managing editor and editor-in-chief approve stories. The section editors and the photo editor should use the same electronic form, located on the Talisman server. The managing editor should verify the assignment sheets.

The assignment sheet should include:

■ A brief description of story

■ Contact information for writer, photographer, section editor and photo editor

■ Deadline dates for the story, photos and captions

Section editors are responsible for meticulously reading each story, referring to their editing checklists as needed. Once the section editor has reviewed and made corrections to the story, it should be sent to the managing and copy editors. After the managing editor approves the story, it should be dropped into the page folder on the Talisman server. The photo editor should also use the page folders to drop the final edited pictures to be placed on each spread by the designers.

Writers and photographers

Staff writers are generally allotted two weeks to complete assignments. Writers should understand that once they turn in a story they will have to continue to work on the story until their editor says it is final. The editing process does not begin until stories are turned in. Writers will attend regular writers meetings and should come with story ideas and work from the stories they are working on.

Staff photographers should have photos from events turned in no later than 3 DAYS after an assigned event. For longer more in-depth assignments the photo editor will give photographers a deadline. The photo editor and assistant photo editor have the final say on edits for a story but staff photographers are encouraged to meet with their editor and edit together.

Designers

The designer should be able to retrieve images and copy from the page folders. The designer should consult the design editor about concepts for the spreads already developed by the design editor and select members of the editorial board. Spreads should be corrected and reprinted until the editor-in-chief and the adviser approve the finished product. Designers can begin laying out a page once all the copy and photos are ready. Designers should realize that during the couple of weeks before a deadline they might need to work late hours to ensure everything is designed.

How a story gets printed

1. Story ideas can come from any number of sources: staffers and editorial board, teachers and advisers.

BUT

2. The section editor and the EIC have to approve the story and assign it to a section with page numbers before the assignment is official. Most story ideas are approved during editorial board meetings.

3. Electronic assignment forms including deadlines are filled out by the assigning editor, with photographer and other information added later by the photo editor, EIC and ME.

4. Once the section editor assigns a writer the story, the writer develops sources and an angle with the assigned photographer’s knowledge and collaboration. The section editor is kept apprised of story progress.

5. The first draft of the story is edited in person, preferably in the Talisman office – with the section editor and writer.

6. After the story has been edited and polished, then it is placed in the page folder for the deadline.

7. Photos for the story are dropped on the server and edited by the photographer and/or the photo editor or assistant photo editor. The photos selected for the spread(s) are placed in the page folder with the designation of dominant, secondary, third, fourth and so on. These photos should all be toned BEFORE placing them in the page folder.

8. The photo editor ensures that captions are complete and correct.

9. Good communication ensures that photos and story complement each other, harmonize and share the same angle.

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Writing guidelines

Story checklist

Please go over this list before submitting a story to your editor.

1. The story has been approved by your section editor and is written with an approved angle.

2. Have you followed the rule of 3?

3. Your story contains a nut graph that clearly identifies the purpose of the story.

4. Your lead is tight and attention grabbing.

5. You have quoted feeling not fact.

6. All sources mentioned are identified correctly.

7. You have checked and double-checked all job titles and spelling of names.

8. The story is written in past tense.

9. You have brainstormed headline possibilities and written a slug for the story.

10. The story is written as a FEATURE not a news story.

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Design guidelines

Essential rules of magazine design

1. Start with a focal point – decide what it is you want readers to notice first

2. Place your dominant photograph at, near or across the gutter

3. Group three to five supporting photos around the dominant photo, keeping a one-pica margin between all elements

4. Place copy blocks to outside of photos. This includes creating a main headline, adding body copy and placing captions

5. Leave white space to the outside of the layout

Make sure there is a strong contrast that will attract the reader’s eye. If everything on the page is big and bold and flashy, then there is no contrast. Whether it is contrasting by being bigger and bolder or by being smaller and lighter, the point it that it is different and your eye is attracted to it.

Four basic design principles

Contrast

The idea behind contrast is to avoid elements on the page that are merely similar. If the elements (type, color, size, line, thickness, shape, space, etc) are not the same then make them very different. Contrast is often the most important visual attraction on a page.

Repetition

Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece. You can repeat color, shape, texture, spatial relationships, line thickness, sizes, etc. This helps develop the organization and strengthens unity.

Alignment

Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every element should have some visual connection with another element on the page. This creates a clean, sophisticated, fresh look.

Proximity

Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. This helps organize information and reduces clutter.

Elements of design

Pictures

Every spread should contain a dominant image that is two-thirds times larger than any other image on the page. Photos should vary in sizes and composition. One photo should bleed across the gutter or off the page to help unify the pages. Arrange photos in a manner that moves the eye across the page not off of it (look at the direction of the action or subjects eyes making sure to place movement appropriately).

Copy

Copy consists of headlines, subheads, captions, pull quotes and stories. At most three fonts should be used per spread. Using too many competing fonts makes the spread hard to read and can make a page look cluttered. To vary fonts that you use you may change its characteristics.

Choose fonts that are easy to read. Artsy fonts should be used in large copy only such as headlines. Copy has the ability to be one of the most impressive aspects of a magazine. It should attract the reader’s attention and encourage them to continue reading.2016-17 Student Publications Policy Manual Page D-11

Graphics and artwork

These elements are used to add visual interest to a spread. Graphics are almost any other printed element: rule lines, screened areas, spot-color areas and special effects photos. Artwork is any printable area that is not a photo. Just like typography it is easy to go overboard with graphics and artwork. Coordinate graphics with theme, color scheme and style so pages don’t appear cluttered.

White space

White space should frame and contain all elements on the page. Be careful not to trap white space. To ensure this does not happen a rule of thumb to follow is to place all copy and graphics first then place all text on the outside of these elements.

Design terms to know

Signature: a large sheet of paper printed on both sides, 8 pages per side. When folded and trimmed, the 16 pages flow in proper sequence.

Flat: one side of a printed signature that contains 8 pages.

Natural spread: two facing pages in a signature, example pages 8 and 9.

Gutter: center of the spread where the pages meet.

Spot color: an individual ink color used for emphasis.

Font: the complete set of letters, numerals and punctuation marks in one size of one typeface.

Frame: another name for a text box. Picture frames should be at least 0.5.

Guides: non-printing lines used to accurately position text, graphics or a photo on a page.

Link: communication between the document and the graphic or photo that that has been placed on a spread.

Template: file that opens a copy of the document with preferences set and any page numbers or other graphic information pre-set.

Style: all-inclusive specifications including font, size, weight, width, leading and alignment.

Points: used to measure rule lines and type.

Picas: used to measure width and length of pages, columns and picture areas.

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Photo policies

All camera equipment is to be checked out properly using official protocols and may not be lent to any other person without them first officially checking out the equipment. All equipment is to be returned in good condition and in a timely manner.

Photo gear may be checked out through the Office of Student Publications during regular business hours. Photographers may not check out gear to shoot photos for class or otherwise, unless the end product may be used for the Talisman. DO NOT let another photographer borrow gear you have checked out. Photo equipment lost or damaged is the financial responsibility of the photographer who checked out the equipment.

Photo gear checkout policies and procedures

1. Only approved Talisman staff photographers may check out gear.

2. Cameras, regular and wide-angle lenses and battery chargers may be checked out for up to one week.

3. The zoom lens may be checked out for three days. Checkout over the weekend will begin on Friday, return by Monday. Checkout for the zoom lens on Wednesday, Thursday will have to be re-checked out by Friday.

4. If a photographer does not return equipment at the expected time on three occasions, he/she will not be allowed to check out equipment for the rest of the semester.

5. Photographers are required to repair or replace broken equipment. Student must furnish police report for stolen equipment.

Caption writing instructions

  1. The date the photo was taken (Monday Sept. 3, 2008) should precede the caption info. Finish the caption with your name as it will appear in the book.
  2. Think of the caption as a brief photo story. ALWAYS write at least two sentences for a caption.
  3. The first sentence should be in PRESENT tense and describe the photo. Subsequent sentences are to be written in PAST tense and should add additional information and give background information.
  4. Be specific and thorough.
  5. Identify everyone, up to six people, in the photo. Be sure to include their name, hometown and grade classification.
  6. DO NOT begin a caption with a name or number.
  7. DO NOT pad to fill space.

Photos without accurate, complete and usable captions turned in on time will be subject to a $5 per photo deduction to be decided by the photo editor, managing editor and/or editor. Photos without suitable captions will not be printed.

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