The newspaper nameplate serves as the identity for the paper. Many staffs will design the nameplate first and then use that as the foundation for the rest of the paper.
Look at the different types of nameplates. Some are traditional while others take a modern approach. Consider your audience and the message you are trying to relay. A blackletter nameplate says you are classic and reliable. A modern typeface says you are fresh and accessible.
Don't just look at newspaper nameplates when coming up with ideas. Inspiration can come from anywhere, including logos for businesses and products. As always, be mindful for what is appropriate for your audience.