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Coming to the end of my third week working in Young AmeriTowne, I still find myself mesmerized by how the students are able perform each of their tasks in a short period of time while managing to spend all of their paycheck. Each shop has its own unique services and products that other shops and citizens depend on. One of my favorite places so far is the Newspaper.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Although I have never worked for a Newspaper, in my head I imagine AmeriTowne’s Newspaper runs exactly to how actual Newspapers would do… in terms of a crazy fast paced environment. Working together, the students have approximately 1-2 hours to put together a four-page newspaper before they sell it to citizens of AmeriTowne. This includes six stories, two pages of advertisements and pictures.
We have several template options they can choose from when they arrive in town, such as interviewing the mayor and judge. Each paper has an opinion section, top story of the day, and the option for any citizen to submit a story through the kiosks in Towne center.
Editorial staff is comprised of an editor, an accountant, reporters and ad-agents/typists. The editor’s primary tasks are to manage the other shop employees, write an editorial, and edit stories as they come in. The reporters’ interview other students in town to get the scoop, while the ad agents/typists’ cut and scan advertisements for each shop into the computer, type the articles delivered by the reporters and upload pictures.
As you can tell, this is a big undertaking for our students. With a great deal of teamwork, focus and some preparation back at school, the students usually manage to create a well written, informative, and sometimes highly entertaining paper. Headlines I have seen so far include:
- Sprite in Snack Shop Poisoned!
- The Judge was Arrested – Twice!
- Pink Pony Lost then Found
- Mayor Caught Stealing from Snack Shop
- Abominable Snowman comes to Town
The financial aspect
The newspaper has two main sources of revenue. The first is money earned from selling the newspaper, and the second is the fee charged to each shop for their ads. Time is an important factor for the newspaper, because the students can’t begin selling until it goes to print.
Sponsored by The Denver Post at both our HQ location and at Belmar, the shops are equipped with branded press badges, aprons and signage to authenticate the experience.
Wondering which of your students would shine in the Newspaper? Pick an editor who can delegate tasks well under pressure. Choose reporters who enjoy writing, have creative minds, are able to work under a tight time constraint and surprisingly important… have good handwriting. Select ad agents/typists who like to work with computers.
The newspaper is all about working together in a very short period of time to put out the daily news! This is a major source of revenue, and the faster they can get it out, the more they can sell. Teamwork and quick decision making is crucial! And don’t forget to encourage students to get creative with their stories.