William Dauber
Material Type:
Lecture Notes
Community College / Lower Division
Creative Commons Attribution

Budget Notes for Newspapers and Magazines

Budget Notes for Newspapers and Magazines


This lesson provides students with three easy steps on how to write budget notes for newspapers and magazines. Writers are required to create daily or weekly budget notes to detail their work, and editors use the notes to plan and design their publications. 

Writing the Budget Note

The Budget Note 

Believe it or not, journalists deal with budgets every day, but they are not the type of budgets filed with numbers. Writers use budgets to plan the day's or the week's work. In turn, editors use the writers' budgets to plan and design the pages of newspapers or magazines. The budget note for most publications requires three elements: the story slug, the budget line, and the budget tagline. 

The slug: The slug represents the name of the story. It usually consists of one word, a key word that can be found in the story. The slug is followed by the day the story will be ready for publication. 

The budget line: This item consists of three to four sentences detailing what the story is about, and why the story is important to your readers. Think about this part of the budget note as a way to sell your editors on the story. 

The tag line: The tag line consists of three elements: the author's last name, the story length (in inches or words depending on the publication), and the type of art/graphic planned for the story. Note in the examples below, the tagline information is enclosed in parentheses. 


MEASLES.22 More than 700 students and staff members from UCLA and Cal State LA have been quarantined in attempts to prevent the spread of measles on their respective campuses. According to Los Angeles County health officials, the highly contagious disease was declared eliminated in 2000. Will talk to health officials to detail how measles made a comeback and how students and others can help prevent their spread. Will interview Valley College officials and report on how they are attempting to prevent or prepare for a possible outbreak on campus (Jackson, 500 words, art/graphic of measles, quarantine sites).

Rover.30 NASA launched the Mars Rover Opportunity on July 7, 2003, and the robot was only expected to explore the surface of Mars for 90 days. It lasted more than 15 years. On Feb. 19, 2019, NASA officials declared the mechanical explorer dead after it waded through a severe dust storm that blocked its solar panels. Officials sent Opportunity 1,000 recovery commands and none of them were performed. According to NASA, Opportunity’s last words were, “ My battery is low and it’s getting dark.” The article will detail Opportunity's findings, how the robot was able to last so long, and talk to Valley College's science department about what Opportunity's discoveries mean (Coan, 450-500 words, photograph of Opportunity and NASA logo).