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Advice for Students

News Journalism: Production day roles

17 August 2022
Keyboard by Nick Youngson via Alpha Stock Images (picpedia.org)
Keyboard by Nick Youngson via Alpha Stock Images (picpedia.org)

Production days can be fun as a reporter, but you also have the opportunity to try out many different newsroom roles.

I recommend doing them all as it gives you material to write about in your marked reflections, but also things to talk about in job interviews.

Editor

You are responsible for the entire newsroom minus sport. This means that you need to know everyone’s stories, who they are interviewing and when they will be done. In the editors meeting you will be expected to go through each person’s story and then relay notes back to the reporters should any be mentioned in the meeting. Then you will be responsible for making sure everyone is done on time, this may mean reading over articles and editing them before they get send to the lecturers. Once reporters have finished, you should be finding them live stories to complete, that may be from council meetings, Senedd meetings, protests or whatever else is going on that day. It is best to get a list of things ready days before so you are not struggling on the day. I would say this is one of the easier jobs out of all of the editor roles.

Sports editor

Similarly to the Editor, you are responsible for the sports reporters. That includes finding stories, passing on notes. But you are also responsible for the print production of the Sport. This is on InDesign and you will be creating eye-catching pages for your best sports stories that week. This means you have a bit more on your plate than an Editor, so it is good to be on top of it and have started your InDesign pages a few days ahead.

Social media editor

This is one of the most time consuming jobs of them all, but great for people who like Facebook and Twitter. If you are good at engaging one liners to make people want to read a story then this is the role for you. You will be getting a bio for each reporter’s story, a headline and a good photo which you will have to chase people up on. Part of this role is scheduling posts so that the views are spread out over the week. That can be done on Facebook’s meta suite and on Tweetdeck.

Multimedia editor

You will be responsible for Instagram and TikTok which means you have to create content that will make people click on the link to read the stories. This is difficult as content on these platforms do not usually encourage clicks, but if you can make it tantalising enough, perhaps by explaining a small part of the story or a trailer then it can work. You also have to understand the audience though and TikTok is definitely better for trends which make people click on your profile, hopefully engaging them enough to see who your account is.

Print editor

You are responsible for the entire newspaper minus the sport pages. You will be using InDesign and creating engaging pages that feature high quality photos and interesting design that draws the reader’s eye into the stories. This is by far the most time consuming job, but in my opinion the most enjoyable – other than reporter. Start early, get some outlines of your pages done so on production days you can easily copy and paste the stories in. Remember there is no spell check on InDesign so check it all before inserting.