Earn Extra Points

While there are several ways to lose points, there’s one key way of gaining some more points back – getting published. Contrary to popular belief, getting published frequently is not a good-grade guarantee. Once again, each lab instructor has his own rules. However, in some cases, you have to get a grade of C or better in order to get the extra credit, meaning that your article has to be good enough for your Reporting class before it gets edited at the newspaper. While getting published isn’t necessarily a sure life-saver, it’s definitely an important boost to your grade that can go far.

Getting published means both extra credit and valuable clips.

Different publications are worth different amounts depending on your lab. Generally, clips in The Independent Florida Alligator and The Gainesville Sun are accepted. The amount of bonus points awarded is in the range of 15 or 20. Some lab instructors accept clips from other parts of the state, and it’s usually to their discretion how much each individual clip is worth point-wise.

Getting published is the difficult part. Whatever you do, do not get discouraged if you get rejected or ignored. It happens. Submit your story every week. It’ll be hard to get that first article to run, but once you do, getting published again becomes much easier. Make sure to only send your story to one publication at a time and wait until it is accepted or rejected before trying another publication. If your story ran in two different newspapers, you’d most likely never get published in either paper ever again. So, to avoid this, pick the publication that targets your preferred audience and go for it. E-mail it first, then call to confirm that they received your article. If they don’t get back to you within a day or two, call again, maybe sooner if it is spot news. They may tell you that they want to hold the story. This means that they can’t run it in the next day’s paper, but they plan on running it soon.