News Section Communication

As it stands, I think the majority of our news department’s communication works pretty well. The prime example of this being story ideas. Stemming from our discussion last week in class about this, I thought I might expand on the benefits.

  • Story Ideas
    • Our department relies a lot on the reporters for content. It gives them freedom in a way that I didn’t expect when I first joined. As we discussed last week, many newsrooms have a problem where story ideas are generated at the top and then sift down, but for us, there is a healthy mix of bubbling up and assigned stories.
      • All reporters must generate three story ideas each week. These then get reviewed by the heads of the news department. This helps generate a lot of ideas and the leaders get to assign the good ones

That being said, there are some issues in certain areas.

  • Technology
    • I like Slack, the service we use to communicate, but it has its issues. Sometimes I won’t receive notifications unless I am specifically @’d or I receive a dm even though I have my notifications turned on. This results in missing updates and possible breaking news
    • To fix this, I think specific text group chats might work better for important things like breaking news, giving updates or other non-immediate issues can be addressed over slack
  • Follow-up
    • A standard should be set that editors and assistant editors should check in with their reporters daily for story updates. It helps keep the reporters on track, while also keeping both parties engaged in their work process.
  • Photos
    • Improve the connection between news and photo departments. Make it easier for reporters to discuss with photographers what they want shown for the article
    • Perhaps make teams with certain photographers being paired with certain reporters. Closer relationships lead to more cohesive teams and better coordinated work in my experience
  • More time to debrief
    • In weekly meetings, I think giving reporters time to discuss what they did the previous week would be just as beneficial as what they plan on doing. Learning from mistakes can be helped this way, as well as helping new reporters learn tips for their own work

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