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Writing for the UNG Vanguard


Have you ever seen something come across the news, happen in your community, or even in your life and realize that some people may really need to see it? What if you could give people the opportunity to read about it?

The Vanguard wants to give the opportunity for you to write, and it isn’t that complicated to try!

UNG journalism professor and Vanguard advisor Shelia Conti said simply, “If a student would like to write for the Vanguard, I would tell them to reach out to the advisor or the editor-in-chief and write a story! Pitch a story idea, and then write it.”

But why do it? What benefit could you get from it? The opportunity brought from writing for the Vanguard is immeasurable, and Conti has seen it herself.

“I’ve seen students get hired at local papers because of the portfolios they’ve built with their stories. We’ve also had students freelance and write for some local papers.”

UNG student and current editor-in-chief Corinne Thompson is also a freelance sports reporter and photographer for the Dawson County news. “Writing for the Vanguard has taught me everything about the process of news writing. There’s nothing like learning how the pace of a newspaper works in real time. It’s so fun and has really honed my skills as a writer.”

“Without my experience at the Vanguard, I probably would not have gotten an internship or grown as a writer. This experience has helped me tremendously with developing my own writing style!” – UNG student Skylar Cochran

Conti elaborated on the opportunities that come directly from the classes, such as the speaker series.

“Through our speaker series, we get people who are currently in journalism in different areas to speak to the class and let the students ask questions about what it’s really like. This has gotten students to really keep that fire for journalism.”

Currently, the Vanguard is based completely online at In Fall 2021, though, Conti and fellow advisor Katherine Brennecke are preparing to release the first print edition in over two years!

“Professor Brennecke and I took over advising for the Vanguard in February 2019,” Conti said. “With the help of former Vanguard advisor Dr. Merril Morris, we got a print edition out in the spring of 2019 and planned on getting another print edition out in the spring of 2020, but we all know what happened around then.”

Following the pandemic, the Vanguard faced many challenges, especially budget-wise. Of course, budgets were cut across the board, but few felt it quite as much.

“It was too bad because the students had put in a lot of work during the semester, and as we were laying it out, we were told we didn’t get the funding for it because, of course, there weren’t going to be students on the campus to read it!”

Conti also stated the importance of other jobs in the Vanguard, rather than just writing.

“The Vanguard isn’t just looking for writers. We need an artist to draw a weekly or monthly cartoon.   We also need sales reps for advertisements.  And yes, we pay a commission.”

Maybe you aren’t sure about your major. Maybe you have no earthly idea what you want to do yet. Try writing for the Vanguard!

Eight months ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was a journalism major with absolutely no intention of really pursuing it, and now I couldn’t see myself doing anything else!

Giving people stories, from something as small as a new charity in your community to something as impactful as a trial being watched worldwide, is the second most satisfying thing about writing for a paper. What’s the first? Seeing your own name on the byline.

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Writing for the UNG Vanguard