Creative Group Activities... 
Make a Newspaper Page as a Team Activity

Looking for creative group activities? We’ve got a whole host of tasks to inspire, challenge and motivate teams. Artistic, culinary, literary and musical activities all have different benefits.

The trick is choosing the challenge that’s right for your specific situation and needs!

Here we look at how to make a newspaper page, the practicalities and benefits.

Why Make a Newspaper Page?

Wondering if this activity will suit your aims and objectives?

Here are just some of the issues it can develop, highlight or help you resolve:

Creative Group Activities make a newspaper page

(Photograph courtesy of Maximillion UK)

  1. Team member roles - the group need to pool their various skills to complete the task successfully. They will gain a deeper understanding of colleagues’ individual strengths.
  2. Team goal setting – there’s a clear and measurable goal to achieve that involves team commitment.
  3. Time management – newspapers are created according to strict deadlines. The group will need to work within a time constraint. You see how each member reacts under pressure.
  4. Highlight conflict within a team – creative group activities can help team members and managers understand communication issues and work out how to resolve them.
  5. Vision sharing – creative group activities give team members the opportunity to share ideas put them into practice in a practical situation.
  6. Delegation – every newspaper needs an editor! This activity gives you the golden opportunity to see how the nominated editor handles leadership and delegation issues.
  7. Responsibility and accountability – teams will gain a deeper understanding of both.

The Practicalities

creative group activities photography and journalism

Before selecting specific activities, take time out to consider the practical aspects. Choose ones that are fun and appropriate for team members and their situation.

The most effective creative group activities involve learning something that can be easily applied in the workplace to improve results.

(Photo courtesy of Eclipse Leisure)

I particularly like the 'make a newspaper page' activity. It ticks all the above boxes and clearly illustrates the advantages of teamwork.

How long will it take?It takes half a day to make a newspaper page.

Any restrictions?There are no seasonal or physical restrictions. This is a very versatile indoor activity that can be tried any time of the year.

How much does it cost?That depends on whether you want to use an external company. If so, they will of course charge you for their expertise and time. Run the activity yourself and all it will cost is your time. 

How Have Others Done It?

When I participated in the make a newspaper activity, it was run by an external company.

My boss was looking for creative group activities that involved using different skills and thinking styles.

Here’s how it went:

My boss and a team building facilitator ran the activity. It was held in the boardroom of our office building as opposed to externally. There was a very good reason for the choice of location. We were asked to make a newspaper page that focused on our company.

As an icebreaker, we were all asked to reveal a fun fact about ourselves. Some were funny, one was a real eye-opener! This little exercise warmed us to the idea of a team challenge. 

creative group activities team building

We split into two teams. There were 6 of us in each group. The boss chose who would be editor.

That lucky person had to decide who would take responsibility for each task. As there were only 5 of us, it was important to play to people’s strengths.

(Photo courtesy of Eclipse Leisure)

There were conditions to the challenge. Our page had to feature:

  1. One lead story
  2. A sports piece
  3. An advertisement

These are the challenges we faced:

  • Finding stories – our editor decided 2 out of the 6 of us would be responsible for the writing.
  • Photography – one person was given a digital camera and the job of sourcing images.
  • Design and layout – luckily enough, one girl in our group knew her way around Photoshop!
  • Printing and distribution – a newspaper isn’t much use if no-one sees it. One person was responsible for printing and delivering the page to all 200 desks around the building.

I was one of the writers. We had an editorial meeting to come up with ideas for headlines and stories.

Fortunately for us, the company was going through a merger and there was plenty of material for stories.

However, we had to balance a serious lead story with a couple of shorter and more light-hearted ones.

We did complete the challenge on time and we did win!

In a nice twist, the outcome was decided by a company vote. Our boss and external facilitator later explained this was a way of highlighting teamwork in organizations.

Using an External Company

It’s not essential but I was quite impressed with the way the external facilitator ran our session. In addition to getting us warmed up and receptive to the task, he got us to take a break halfway through.

This was important as it gave us space and time to evaluate what we’d done so far. He didn’t make any suggestions on ways we could improve anything. However, he did ask us what I would call ‘leading’ questions. Plus he gave us a couple of teamwork tips that had practical value.

Basically, he pointed us in the right direction without directly telling us what to do!

He gave us constructive feedback at the end. The evaluation part was particularly useful. He highlighted our strengths and weaknesses.

He reminded us of what we’d learned through the experience and how we could put it into practice.

Can I Organise it Myself?

Many creative group activities can be run without an external company. The 'make a newspaper page' challenge is one of them.

It’s simple to make this activity particularly relevant to your workplace and current issues. And there are online resources that can help you create a professional end product.

This is a good place to start:

Everything on this template is customisable and editable.

On a tight budget? Good old Microsoft Word has a newsletters template you can use.

If you want to try compiling a modern online version of a 'newspaper', check out this web portal which allows you to customise your own online news feed:

If you are doing it yourself, I'd also recommend trying the following simple free team building exercise before making your newspaper page as a team.

This 'newspaper interpretation' exercise takes about 20 minutes and will get groups in the right frame of mind for more creative group activities.

All you need is a selection of different newspapers. Or you can use the online versions. Pair up and ask each duo to present their interpretation of the most powerful story they can find.

If you're seeking other fun or creative group activities, see our index page of Corporate Team Building Activities.

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