Publication Date


Document Type

Student Project

First Advisor

Hendricks, Shelley

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)


Department of Communication


The Northern Star is NIU’s student-run newspaper which covers a variety of news including NIU campus news, DeKalb news, NIU Huskie sports, northern Illinois entertainment and more. The Star is split into four different departments of news coverage that students can report on and two multi-media departments along with one department for copy editors.

The “student-run” aspect of the paper leads students to often join with varying levels of experience. Currently the continuity at the Northern Star has a great foundational start, but it is lacking in key areas. A majority of the training for new employees is done once at the beginning of the semester, while the rest is mostly taught from word of mouth, which makes it hard for new trainees to cement specific styles and practices into their work and hear multiple solutions from different people.

To combat this issue I rewrote the guidelines that outlined what were the responsibilities and duties for the management and staffer positions at the Northern Star. The former guidelines had not been updated in nine years and were rarely referenced for training purposes. Job descriptions were necessary for staffers to be fully involved with the publication. Therefore the purpose of this project was to outline and better define the separate responsibilities of staffers and employed students who worked at the individual departments and management at the newspaper. My project will impact staff retention and act as an evaluative rubric for staffers to assess if they are completing the requirements of their jobs.