Start the presses! On Father’s Day, Dad is the top story around the house. Here’s the scoop on creating your own family newspaper (everything from press passes to newspaper templates) that will be fun for you to make and for Dad to read and keep.
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There’s no quicker way toward getting your story than flashing your official press pass, which lets everyone know you have access to people and places, and flipping open your reporter’s notebook. Just download and print out the templates.
Newspapers have stories in four popular types:
- Reports: Whether it’s an unusual happening or a big sports event, reports carry the facts and information people want.
- Features: People are interesting and each one has lots of stories. Features share details that make readers feel like they’re part of those stories.
- Columns: We all have opinions about what we like to do, watch, eat…everything! Columns let writers share their opinions about new movies or great recipes or fun places to go.
- Surveys: When we want to know what lots of people think about a topic, we ask them. For surveys, ask people the same question and share their answers.
Now is when the reporting comes in. Getting what you need to write your story is a three-step process: preparation, interviewing and double-checking.
1. Preparation: Get some background info by chatting with other family members about what you plan to ask Dad. Think about questions you want to ask and write those down in your notepad.
2. Interviewing: No need to be nervous…it’s just Dad! Enjoy your talk, write what he says (he’ll talk slow if you ask), and ask new questions that pop in your head, too.
3. Double-checking: When you’re done, take a minute to look over your notes while he’s there. Ask him to spell anything you’re not sure about. Go back over anything you didn’t quite understand.
You’ve got what you need, and now it’s time to write. Look over your notes and start your draft. Begin with what you think is the most interesting part of the story you’re telling and just let things go from there.
Once you have your stories written, you’re ready to make your newspaper look good. Download these free newspaper templates—they’re designed so you can make your newspaper as long or short as you like.
Print your free newspaper template. One copy of each page makes a perfectly respectable edition—but you can also print out multiple pages if you need more room.
First, your newspaper needs a name. (There’s a space on the template right at the top of the first page.) Many newspapers have a two-part name: the first gives your reader an idea of what group or area would be interested in reading the stories inside and the second gives your reader a sense of trust in what is inside. Here are some examples:
First name Second name
Family name (The Rodriguez Family) Favorite animal
Location (Maple Street) Favorite bird
Town (Cincinnati) Famous newspaper name
State (Ohio) (Times, Gazette, Star, Herald)
Anything you want!
Next, decide which of your stories is the most interesting of all—the one story that would make someone just have to pick up your paper and read it. That’s your lead story, and it goes at the top of Page One. That story will need some art with it, so decide whether that will be a photo, a drawing, or something that might explain your story better such as a map or a chart with details of your information. Under the art, explain to your readers what they are seeing and why it matters to the story (that’s the caption).
The last thing to add are headlines—the big words over each story that give the very basics of what the story is about. Headlines always have action verbs to make the story even more interesting.
That’s all you need to go into the newspaper business. No matter how you create this one-of-a-kind gift, there’s one part of this story that will come as no surprise: Dad is going to love it!
If making your newspaper was fun, you sure don’t have to wait until next Father’s Day to make another one. You can use your reporting skills and these templates to make newspaper editions about friends or other family members for birthdays and special occasions. Also, one-page “Extra!” editions can celebrate big family news such as a move or a wedding or bringing home a new pet. Happy reporting!