Preventing Favoritism in Your Yearbook

The yearbook should offer a snapshot of what school life is like, with the entire student body getting equal ink. Of course there’s not an exact science when it comes to giving various student groups equal attention, but there are a few strategies you can use to ensure your yearbook offers a fair and balanced snapshot. These strategies include:

Get your editors outside of their comfort zones
Yearbook content is a reflection of its writers and editors. However, if they don’t venture outside of their comfort zones, it will be filled with pictures of their friends, articles about their activities and not much else. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to encourage your editors and writers to cover groups to which they don’t belong, and interview and photograph people they don’t know well. Though they may hesitate at first, encouraging your team to branch out makes for a better yearbook.

Get everyone to participate
Though your staff may consist of only a handful of students, ultimately the book should represent all who attend the school. Encourage all students to submit their thoughts and suggestions as you write the book, thus allowing it to give a better look at student life. Students who have recently formed a new club or completed an important community service project should have the chance to be featured in the yearbook.

Practice student awareness
Bias in a yearbook often happens unintentionally. Some students just have more of a presence than others. If you’re not careful, though, you may accidentally let these students run the show and dictate how the yearbook is written. While they should get the attention they deserve for their accomplishments, it’s important not to let lower profile students go completely unnoticed. When you’re aware of the issue, it makes it much easier to prevent it from happening in the future.

Create a plan in advance
If working on a yearbook with no real plan in place, it may be difficult to see it in its entirety. What may seem completely fair and representative of the student body when reviewed section by section, may take on a totally different feel when you go from cover to cover. When you create a plan, it makes it much easier to ensure that the finished product flows well and is balanced.