SchNEWS was co-founded by David Berry, who also designed the SchNEWS logo and masthead, and Gibby Zobel, who later went on to work for the Big Issue. They both felt that information was being lost and there was no coherence to the movement. SchNEWS was intended to ensure ideas were not being lost and that people could get information from an alternative newsource. They both wrote and edited the early editions together with Warren who managed distribution and reproduction. Over the years, SchNEWS has had many different people involved and has always prided itself on being a disorganisation with a fluid and ever changing contributors, editors and writers.
Stories covered by SchNEWS have included protests against road-building, the big Reclaim The Streets events of the 1990s; labour issues; fights against the privatisation of public services; racism; and genetic engineering. SchNEWS also reports on positive solutions.
It is impossible to know how many people read SchNEWS. 3000 copies are printed each week; of those, 350 go to paid subscribers, and around 50 prisoners in Britain and abroad get it each week for free. There are also around 8,000 email subscribers, many of which get it as a PDF file. SchNEWS encourages people to photocopy and distribute these PDFs. SchNEWS stories are sometimes picked up by other news services.
SchNEWS writers and editors are all volunteers. The idea behind SchNEWS is not to believe the printed word, but to get up and go and see things for yourself. SchNEWS relies on subscriptions, benefit performances, and readers' generosity to pay its bills. SchNEWS is an open collective, and are always looking for new people to get involved.