How an idea becomes an article

Rachel Telljohn

Editor’s note: As part of a media transparency initiative, on May 8, 2017, the Collegian spent the last day of publishing of the year telling our readers about us. You can read more about the people behind our publication in the Editor’s Blog.  

I’m an idea, I’m just an idea and I hope I’ll be an article someday.


Unlike a bill on Capitol Hill, the stepsfor an idea to become an article are fewer.

It is a long journey from the reporter’s brain to the newspaper.

I can only hope I will be an article someday.

Ideas come from all over. My reporter has to have a nose for news, as they say, or the ability to pay attention to what is happening on campus and in the community — or what is told to them via word of mouth or tips sent to the Collegian.

I still have a long way to go from being overheard by my reporter. I can only hope to be an article someday. I have to have the patience to make sure that my reporter has chosen an idea that is relevant to our readers and given to them in a timely manner.

If I am an idea that happened in November, and if it is no longer relevant, then I will not likely be turned into an article in May.

My reporter submits me as a pitch before each weekly news meeting and the editors discuss. Ultimately, they decide to accept or reject the pitch. If accepted, I start the next step of my journey to an article – the reporting process.

Depending on what kind of article I am, the reporter might need to schedule interviews, research or generally assemble the facts pertaining to the article.

I hope and pray I will make it as an article someday.

Once the first draft of me as an article is finished, the reporter submits me to their editor, so that they can edit me together. Preferably, the reporter goes into the newsroom to sit with their editor so that they can talk about my finer – and my lesser – points together.


My facts are checked, some of my sentences might be rewritten and quotes are thoroughly reviewed before the editor officially submits me for publishing for the next day’s paper.

It was a long, long journey to the newspaper, but I’m only an idea who is an article now!

Collegian news editor Rachel Telljohn can be reached at or on Twitter @racheltelljohn.