Susan Ramsay
Susan Ramsay |

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I can’t get a picture of the person I’m writing about, can I just grab one off the web? />

Absolutely not. That can get you into all sorts of trouble because photographers have copyright over their work. First of all ask Team YP if they have a picture. We have a very big library of pictures and chances are we’ll have one. If we do not then you will have to contact that person or their publicist and ask them for a picture. When you send it to us, tell us where you got it from.

Can I write about my school? />

Unfortunately not. Making the headlines is all about the experience of being a journalist. If you act as a public relations officer for your school you are not learning to be unbiased.

How many pitches should I send? />

We like to get about six. This gives us a better chance of finding one suitable for our cover. We don’t like to do things we’ve done before, and often the first thing that comes to mind is the first thing that has come to our reporters’ minds a long time ago.

What if I need to take quotes off a website or out of another publication? />

You need to tell us where you got them. If you want to quote someone, but you did not speak to the person yourself you will put “I love it,” Jane told website gossip.com. This lets the reader know that you did not really speak to Jane. But be careful that you don’t take the whole story from that website. It needs to be your own work.
You cannot lift words from other sources, but you can reword what has been written, check it with a different source and let it stand.

If you say the deadline is noon on Friday, why do you ask for our copy earlier? />

The deadline is when the story is submitted along with the pictures. It is not the first time we look at the story because very often things need to be changed, pictures found, quotes found or maybe the story is just wrong and needs a complete rewrite. The earlier we see it, the more time you have to complete it. By the Friday noon deadline you should not be making changes and additions.

Can we give hints and tips in the story? />

That depends on who they come from and what they are. YOU as a writer may not give tips unless you are qualified to speak on the subject. For instance, you cannot say “Teenagers need to eat four slices of bread a day”. You do not have a degree in nutrition. You can, however say: 'You can mix up some tuna and chilli to make an interesting sandwich.' because you don’t need an education to make a sandwich.

Can I bring my friend on the plant tour?
Only if you make arrangements beforehand.

Sometimes we hold other activities at the same time and then it can get a little crowded.

Are we allowed to take pictures on the tour? />