The Fordham Ram

Ram Reader’s Guide

Each week, The Fordham Ram presents four sections of content: News, Opinion, Culture, and Sports.

The news and editorial departments do not coordinate coverage and maintain a strict separation in staff and management. All coverage is subject to the same requirements of factual accuracy.

Below is a guide for our readers to keep in mind while reading The Fordham Ram. 

In the weekly sections (News, Sports, Culture)

  • News Story/Report: Principle accounts of a news event, often covering breaking news or events happening on campus. News stories written by editors and reporters adhere to the inverted-pyramid format. News stories are written with accuracy, clarity, immediacy and fair play. Include news and sports stories.
  • Feature Stories: In contrast to the hard news covered by stories and reports, feature stories are considered soft news. They can cover a wide range of topics, often covering student life on campus. Similar to news stories, they must be fair, factual and complete. However, feature stories often focus on one issue and are usually more in-depth. They may accompany multimedia galleries. Fordham in the Bronx are considered feature stories. They typically run 500 to 1500 words in length.
  • Reviews: A specialized critic’s appraisal of works of creativity — movies, music, books, restaurants, fashion collections. Unlike other feature writers, critics are expected to render opinions based on their own judgments and knowledge. A critical, constructive analysis of a piece of art through summary, classification, analysis, comparison.
  • Columns: Featured in sports and culture, often written from a first-person perspective. Columns often focus on a single idea and are written on a weekly basis. These pieces do not represent the opinions of the newspaper. Overtime columnists and culture columnists are not required to have their ideas approved by section editors.
  • Profiles: Include Who’s that Kid, In the Spotlight Spotlight, and Senior Profile. Written in the format of a character study, this makes use of descriptions, background information, and quotes to produce a portrait of a member of Fordham’s campus. Each contributor will choose a single subject of the profile. Used as a space to showcase some of Fordham’s most interesting figures whom deserve recognition by the community.
  • Editor’s Pick: This space is set aside for editors to swing a spotlight on just about anything. Movies, television shows, books and albums are the go-to favorites, but editors are encouraged to extend past that and discuss anything they enjoy or like. Brunch (as in the meal), The Week (as in the magazine) and David Carr (as in the addict-turned- writer) have all been recent picks. Staff members are encouraged to be creative and original when making their pick.

In the Opinion Section:

  • Editorial: A written, generally brief article about any issue of public interest. Editorials are written by the editorial board of The Ram. While the writers’ opinions are of great importance, the editorials also reflect the longtime core beliefs of the page. These pieces are based on reporting, often original and in-depth, but are not intended to provide a balanced look at both sides of a debate. They offer clear opinion and distinct positions and range between 400-600 words.
  • Column: An essay by a columnist on the staff, reflecting the opinions of the writer on any topic. Columnists are expected to do original reporting. Op-Ed columns are edited only for style, not for content. Columnists can agree or disagree with editorial positions. They can also disagree with one another.
  • Op-Ed: An article by a person not on the staff  reflecting opinions about a topic on which the author is an expert or has well-reasoned ideas. The topics are often suggested by editors but students can suggest their own. These pieces are an opportunity to air diverse and challenging viewpoints. We reserve the right not to publish an op-ed.
  • From the Desk: This is essentially a long column, wherein each editor has the freedom to write about whatever he or she would like. Editors do not necessarily have to write about a topic that falls into their section’s subject area. In fact, editors are encouraged to write about something they are really passionate about. The New York Jets, time zones, Key West and #FactsMatter have all been recent subjects.
Fordham University's Journal of Record Since 1918
Ram Reader’s Guide