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Thursday, May 22, 2014 25

N
EWSROOMS are all different - some are
big, some small; some publish once a
day, some once a week; some publish
online and on the radio as well as in print, others
stick to print. But while the size of the newsroom
may change, and the titles people have in the
newsroom may vary, the fundamentals of how a
newspaper is published are the same everywhere.
The starting point is the story idea. The reporter
may come up with a story idea - maybe from
talking to a contact, reading a council agenda,
observing something on the way to work - and
pitch it to the News Director, whose job it is
to oversee what all the reporters are doing.
Sometimes the chief reporter will assign one or
more stories to the reporter. Often those stories
will have come from the News Diary - a carefully
maintained calendar of newsworthy events such
as conferences, court cases, sporting events,
concerts and parliamentary proceedings.
T
HE News Director will take the days story
ideas to the news conference. There are
generally three conferences a day, one early
in the day, one in the middle of the day which
looks specically at the front page and one closer
to deadline. At the conference the News Director
joins the Editor, Content Director, Digital
Editor, Graphic Designer and other senior staff
to discuss the stories and decide which ones to
pursue and how to go about it.
O
NCE the reporter has enough information
and has checked the facts, its time to write
the story. And all of this is done against
the clock. Newspapers have strict deadlines
for stories because a lot happens to them after
theyve been written and if they are late getting
to the print site then theyll be late getting out to
shops and homes - which could mean fewer sales
and less revenue for the newspaper.
W
HEN a reporters happy with his or her
story it will be led. The story goes
to the Content Director who checks
everything that needs to be in the story is in there
- is it fair, accurate, balanced, the main points
covered and properly explained? If there are any
gaps, the reporter will be asked to do some more
work on the story and le it again.
Once the Content Director is happy with the
story it gets sent into a general news queue.
There, it will be seen by the sub editors.
T
HE Digital Editor will assess the story to
decide whether it should be published on
the website. The story will be modied
to optimise it for web publishing - perhaps a
different headline, the addition of keywords to
help make the story easier to nd online or even
a simpler intro. Then the story will be published
directly on the website. The web editor also
monitors the wires - a steady stream of national
and international news stories provided by news
agencies.
T
HE Sub-Editor cuts stories to size, checks
for accuracy and typos, writes headlines and
captions. At this point the story is on a page
and has a shape - the sub-editor knows how long
its going to be, how big the headline is, what
pictures going with it. The sub-editors job is to
check the story for factual errors and typos, make
the story t the space allocated to it and write the
headline and caption and any other elements on
the page, such as selecting quotes to highlight.
The chief sub may also have given the sub-editor
some direction on what kind of headline to write
and things to watch out for in the text.
Once all the stories on a page have been
subbed and checked, the pages are printed out
and proofread.
T
HE Editor assesses the story to decide
whether and where to use it in the
newspaper. They may re-angle a particular
story, tighten up the story, and send it for a rewrite
if they think it needs more work or if something
new has happened since the story was written.
The Editor also monitors the wires for stories.
Once the News Editor is happy with a story, they
will mark it up with information on what page it
should go on and where, and send it on to the
production team.
W
HEN the pages have been signed off
they are sent to the print site as PDFs.
There the paper is printed, bundled,
labelled and loaded onto trucks and distributed to
homes, newsagents, schools and businesses.
T
HE production team is headed by a Senior
Producer who works with designers,
photographers, layout sub-editors and
text sub-editors. They oversee getting the pages
drawn up, choice of pictures and allocating
stories to slots on the page. The Senior Producer
oversees page layout, checks story for obvious
errors, assigns it to a sub-editor.
Space is allocated on each page for stories,
pictures, ads, headlines. The pages are drawn up
by designers or layout subs, often under direction
from the chief sub. Once the pages are drawn
and the stories are on the page, the chief sub will
assign to a sub-editor.
N
OW its time for the reporter to research
the story or stories assigned to them. That
may involve calling contacts, interviewing
people in person or on the phone, checking
previous stories for background information,
researching facts and gures online, attending a
press conference, interviewing the man on the
street for popular opinion and more.
How the newsroom
actually works
Step 1: News Conference
Step 3: Meeting deadlines
Step 4: Checking the story
Step 5: Going digital
Step 8: Proof, proof, proof!
Step 6: Story potential
Step 9: Ready to print
Step 7: Page layout
Step 2: Research
The newspaper
newsroom