Telephone and Fax Use

Any staff member in the newsroom may answer the phone. Always answer the telephone courteously and clearly. Identify the office (Skiff, Image, Skiff advertising, etc.) and yourself. When taking messages for others, make certain that you get the correct name and phone number of the caller. Include in the message the time and date of the call and your name. Place the message in the mailbox or on the message board.

Do not use Student Publications phones for personal long distance calls.

The fax machine is in the newsroom closet. Use it only for Student Publications business. If the door is locked, get someone with a key to let you in. The editor, production supervisor, business manager and student publications director have keys.


Complaints should be handled courteously and by the proper persons. Skiff news complaints should be directed to the editor or managing editor. The campus editor also may handle complaints, but he or she should write a detailed memo on the complaint to the editor. If none of those editors is available, take the name and phone number of the complainant and tell the person that the editor will call him or her. Do not argue with complainants. If you are threatened or harassed by a complainant, write a detailed memo for the editor.

Opinion page complaints should be referred to the opinion editor and sports complaints to the sports editor. However, the Skiff editor in chief should be informed in writing of all complaints.

Image complaints should be handled by the editor or associate editor. If neither is available, take a message and tell the caller that the editor will return the call.
Skiff advertising complaints should be handled by the ad manager or assistant ad manager. On occasions, the business manager will take complaints. The business manager should inform the ad manager in writing of those complaints.

The student publications director should be informed of all complaints.


The decision on whether to publish a correction in the Skiff or Image is to be made by the editors of those publications. If the editor is absent, the managing editor of the Skiff may make the decision. When an error is made in the Skiff, a correction should be published promptly. Ambiguous printed information may require publication of a clarification. The editor will decide when to publish a clarification. Normally, corrections will be published on Page Two. A correction may be published on Page One if the occasion warrants. If a complaint concerns an error in a story, do not argue with the caller. Refer such calls to the proper editor. Do not confirm that a mistake has been made, blame anyone or promise anything. Any staff member who makes a mistake must fill out a correction form and turn it in to the editor.

Because of the infrequent publication of Image, mistakes should be of a grave nature to warrant a published correction.

If legal action is threatened because of a mistake, do not discuss the matter with the complainant. Refer the caller to the student publications director and write a detailed memo on the complaint to the editor, with a copy for the student publications director. If legal action is threatened, do not publish a retraction without consultation with the student publications director.

News Tips

Handle news tips courteously. The Skiff encourages readers and others to call or come to the news room with story ideas. It is impossible to cover the entire campus with the small Skiff reporting staff. So story tips are important. Thank the caller for the tip, but do not promise a story. Say you will refer it to the proper editor. Write a detailed memo on the tip to the proper editor. Editors, too, should not promise a story. Tell the caller the tip will be considered. Breaking-news tips, of course, should be handled without delay. For example, do not write a memo if a caller says Sadler Hall is on fire. Get over there and get a photographer there, too. And let the editors know about it.


Any Skiff or Image expenditure in excess of $10 and ALL student travel on behalf of the Skiff or Image must be approved IN ADVANCE by the director of student publications if it is to be reimbursed. The assigning editor, after getting approval from the editor in chief, must present an estimate of expenses to the director to obtain approval prior to the event. This includes, but is not limited to: mileage, meals, lodging, tickets, film, supplies, etc.

Minor expenses of $10 or less will be reimbursed if receipts are presented and the director approves.


Photographers for Skiff and Image should respect the privacy of subjects who do not wish to be photographed. However, photographers have the right to photograph any newsworthy event in a public setting. Permission must be received to photograph on private property. When photographing children, photographers should always obtain the permission of a parent or guardian. The photographer should make it clear to the subject that he/she is shooting for possible publication.

Subjects who request copies of published photos may receive them for a nominal fee of $10 per copy, to cover the cost of materials and time. The photo editor should arrange to have a print made and delivered to the requester. The fee should be collected and turned over to the student publications business manager along with a receipt form.

Use of Equipment

The equipment in the Student Publications department is for the exclusive use of Skiff and Image administrators and staff for work related to the publications. This includes the computers, printers, scanners, phones, cameras, tape recorders, fax machine and all other equipment in the department.

However, a special privilege of Skiff and Image staff is the use of equipment for assigned class work at times when Skiff and Image are not in production and the equipment is available. Staff members should obtain permission from the publications director in advance if they wish to make use of the equipment for any other purpose, including outside jobs.

Staff members must not grant permission to use the equipment to individuals not on staff. Doing so may result in termination.

Cameras and Tape Recorders

Student Publications provides a limited number of tape recorders and cameras for use by the Skiff and Image staffs for publications work only. The cameras are kept locked up in the photo lab. When a camera is loaned out, the photo editor is responsible for seeing that it is signed out on the sheet in the photo lab and signed in when returned.

Tape recorders are kept locked up in the server room across from the production manager's office. Borrowers should ask the production manager, business manager or publications director for a tape recorder, sign it out on the sheet in the server room, and sign it in when returned.


Keys to the newsroom and photo lab are available for selected staff: Skiff editor in chief, managing editor, photo editor, production coordinator, Web editor and Image editor. To obtain a key, complete an authorization form, have it signed by the student publications director and give it to the administrative assistant in the dean's office, along with a $10 deposit. At the end of the semester, return the key to the dean's office and your deposit will be returned. Do not pass your key on to your successor.

Students with keys must not loan them to other students. If you do so, you will forfeit the privilege of having a key.

Using Our Computers


The computer network in our area is the only one of its kind on the campus. As a result, it requires special care from all of its users. The production manager is assigned the task of keeping our computers in good repair and running smoothly and is the person to contact first if you are having any difficulty.


Employees (student staff members) of the TCU Daily Skiff, Image magazine, and the Skiff/Journalism Department web sites normally work at specific computers, so designated by the editor in chief, the advertising manager or the production manager.

In addition, specific students who are not employees, but who are working on class reporting assignments, may use the computers in Room 291S.

Staff members are also allowed to use the computers for homework assignments, but only during "off" hours when they are not being used for production purposes.


The computers are normally available from the time the office is opened in the morning by the first arriving administration staff member until either the day's production work is complete or until the last remaining administration staff member has gone for the day. Employees who would like to use the computers at other times should contact a member of the administrative staff in advance to make arrangments.


Our network has multiple user licenses for several major software programs. However, due to the expense of licensing, all software is not available on every computer. Software is loaded on selected computers necessary to the production of our publications. Among these programs are:


Quark XPress,

Adobe InDesign,

Adobe GoLive,

Adobe Illustrator, and

Adobe Photoshop.

Other software, including Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, is available on most of the computers, but only for the purpose of operating specific hardware or doing research for specific news or magazine articles.


Use of the computers and the individual software programs available on them may be taught "on the job" by an editor, by the advertising manager, by the production manager, or by the production coordinator.

Very good user manuals are available for our major software programs and you are encouraged to use them whenever needed. Also, certain software programs have tutorial material available which students are welcome to use during "off times" in order to increase their skills and speed.

If you are not sure about a software feature or function, take a moment to ask someone knowledgable. It's a good "investment in the future" and will add to your skills and understanding and prevent difficulties later on.


Each computer has a specific computer name, user name, password, and identification number on our network. There are six different locations on the network, both on the individual computer and elsewhere, on which this information is stored and used by the server to facilitate network traffic. It is VERY important that you never change this information (i.e., please don't rename your computer "myputer" because it could have a very HARMFUL effect on the entire network). NO STUDENT is authorized to load new software of any type on any computer in our area, regardless of its supposed purpose, size or any other feature. In particular, software of any type downloaded from the Internet without authorization by the production manager is prohibited.

If your computer "locks up," reboot it (there is really no other choice in this situation).

If your computer develops another problem, see the production coordinator or the production manager immediately. If neither of them is available or the problem can't be quickly solved, continue your work by moving to another available computer.

DO NOT try to make computer repairs yourself.

DO NOT change ANY settings on any of the computers. In order for our network to run smoothly at speed and prevent traffic jams, every computer has been set up in a specific manner, consistent with the software assigned to it. Even though you may think you have guessed right about a setting change, please don't risk it ­ a single computer can have a damaging domino effect on the entire network.


Using the computers is a privilege, not a right.

Students who are found to have disregarded these instructions and thereby caused damage of ANY kind to the computer software on a specific computer or its network will lose access privileges to the computers in the Skiff/Image production network.



Start NewsEditPro by double-clicking on the NewsEditPro icon on the desktop.

Double-click on your name to log-in. If the program is already started, choose "Change Login" from the File menu and pick your name. It's very important that you log in to the system with your own name.

If your name is not on the log-in list, choose a Guest User and inform an editor that you'll need a log-in name.


Choose "New Story" from the File menu.

Find your personal folder by going through the folder hierarchy at the top of the "new story" window. Personal Folders are located in the SKIFF EDITORIAL folder. Under SKIFF EDITORIAL, you will find the PERSONAL FOLDERS, under which you should find your name. Highlight your name and select the bar next to "Selected Folder." You will see a dialog box, where you will choose "Do Search." This will open your personal folder, where you can see all completed and copied stories, as well as stories in progress. (If you have trouble, ask an editor.)

Put on your byline by pressing the Control button and the "0" (zero) button on the keypad at the same time. (NOTE: Not the 0 at the top of the letter keys, but the 0 button on the keypad.) When you do, you should see this:

By Xxxxxx Xxxxxx

Replace the xxx's in the name with your name, exactly as it should be spelled and delete the xxx's in the first paragraph and begin writing your story. If you are in the reporting class, your byline should read:

By Your Name


Remember to save as often as possible. "Save" is under the File menu.

Spell check is under the Utilities menu.

You do not need to insert tabs; the computer will automatically insert them.


When your story is done and spellchecked, choose "Copy Management" from the Document menu. Copy Management is a hierarchical menu and you must follow three steps to copy your stories to the appropriate folder.

You will see three choices: Copy To, Move To and Rename. You want to choose "Copy To" and then choose the appropriate folder your story should be moved to (sports, news, campus, etc.)

If you've done it correctly, you will see very briefly a dialog box that says "copying story..."

A version of the story will remain in your personal folder. For the time being, leave it there. It's a last resort for editors to find your story in case it is misfiled. But, please take care to delete stories from your personal folder every couple of weeks or so. Simply drag stories to the trash when you are no longer working on them or if they have appeared in the paper.


If there is an existing story you have been working on in your personal folder, to open it, simply choose "Open" from the File menu, go through the folder summary until you find your story and then double-click on the story to open.


Remember to save every two paragraphs or so. System crashes are rare, but not so rare that you wouldn't regret it if you lost a 20-inch story because you forgot to save.

The NewsEditPro manuals scattered around the newsroom and your editors are both good sources of information for anything you have questions about.

If you need to get a word count for your story, there is a "Count" feature in the Story menu.

How We Began    Administrative Staff     Organizational Chart     Student Publications Committee     Advertising Policies      General Policies
Student Pay Policy      Job Descriptions      Job Applications

Robert Bohler, Student Publications Director       Bitsy Faulk, Business Manager     Jeanne Cain Pressler, Production Manager