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Tuesday, May 23

The Indiana Daily Student is the third largest employer of students on campus. The newsroom hires new staffers every semester and has rolling deadlines. We take applications for advertising sales representatives in December and January. Creative, Marketing and Distribution typically hire new staffers at the end of every semester.

Newsroom FAQs

For more information about newsroom jobs, contact Ruth Witmer at

What positions are open in the newsroom?

Every semester we hire new writers, photographers, page designers, copy editors and Web content producers. We have a rolling application deadline. However, in the fall we get so many new students wanting to work for us we sometimes stop taking applications by mid-October.

How do I start working for the newsroom?

The first thing to do is submit an application online. When we receive your application, we will contact you by e-mail so you can sign up for a time to go through orientation. Orientation will familiarize you with the newsroom, staff, policies and operation of the IDS. After that, we will assign a newsroom staffer for you to profile. Your profile will give us an idea your skill level; this will also give you a chance to meet some of the editors.

Can any student apply to become a newsroom staffer?

Yes. We hire students from all backgrounds, majors and previous experience. If you have never worked in journalism or at a newspaper, we’ll train you.

What is the general assignments desk?

The general assignments desk is geared toward training and working with new writers, familiarizing them with the IDS and graduating them to news desks, like campus, sports, etc. New staffers usually write seven stories before they start writing for a news desk.

How do I get story assignments?

The general assignments desk is in charge of assigning new writers story ideas from each news desk, i.e., campus, sports, arts, etc. However, original story pitches from new writers are encouraged.

What is the process of getting a story published as a new writer?

Once you’ve completed orientation, you will work with the general assignments editors on your first story assignments. They will edit with you to check the names, sources, facts and structure of your story. When both you and the editors are happy with your story, it will be sent to its corresponding news desk, i.e., if it's an article about a student group, it will go to campus desk. The desk editors and management staff will edit your story and if everything looks good, it will be sent to the page designers for publication.

Do I have to go through general assignments? Can’t I just start at a desk like campus or sports?

Every new writer must go through general assignments to make sure each staffer has been through orientation and is familiar with IDS style, the code of ethics and basic news structure. However, some writers graduate from GA to a news desk very quickly.

Who goes through the general assignments desk?

All new writers to the IDS go through the desk. Photographers, designers and graphic artists and copy editors train with their respective editors. You will be pointed in the right direction at orientation.

I want to write about the IU Hoosiers. What do I need to do to start covering a team?

The sports desk works on a beat system. Writers are assigned to a sports beat the previous semester based on their experience, drive and skill, with the higher-profile sports like men's basketball usually going to juniors or seniors. As a new writer, you likely won't get to cover an NCAA team your first semester, but you can still write about club and intramural teams. However, if you work hard, get to know the sports editors and write a lot of stories, you will have a good shot at getting a beat the following semester.

What do I need to do to write an opinion column?

We usually hire opinion columnists at the very end or very beginning of every semester. Look for ads for columnists in the pages of the IDS or contact the opinion editors at You can also look for columnist applications on this Web page.

What if I want to take photos?

New photographers work and train with the photo editors or seasoned staff photographers rather than going through the general assignments desk. The editors show new photographers how to take good photos, how to edit your work and where to pick up assignments for getting published in the paper and online. You must provide your own camera.

What if I want to design pages?

Just like the photo desk, designers go through the design chiefs rather than general assignments. The design chiefs and professional staff offer training sessions and will show you how to use programs like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign and how to make a page visually appealing.

What are the best ways to get noticed as a new staffer?

Coming into the newsroom to write your story and meeting with the other students and staff is the best thing you can do. Simply emailing stories in is fine, but won’t familiarize you with the other reporters and editors. The general assignments editors also encourage new writers to come in with their own story ideas. Also, the most prolific writers, photographers and designers usually get noticed first.

Do I get paid? How much do I get?

Once you are on payroll, you must fill out a pay slip and turn it in to your editors every other Friday. Writers are paid per story, photographers per photo that runs in the newspaper or online, designers per page they design and copy editors per hour.