Organizing the Staff to Capture the News
Traditional ways of organizing the newspaper staff have given way in recent years to new styles of organization. In the old “beat” system, each reporter was assigned to cover a specific area or subject. Today, however, staffs often work in groups, from the creation of the story idea through the reporting, photo, design, and production phases. Under the WED approach, teams of writers, editors, and designers jointly plan pages or sections of publications.
To capture the news, reporters and editors must search news sources. Commercial newspapers receive a considerable amount of the news from wire services, which provide information from all over the world around the clock. For journalists, sources might include people outside the staff who provide tips about stories worthy of coverage; a future book that lists important upcoming events; or the public relations representative of the school district.
Reporters are on the front lines of journalism, but the entire staff of a school newspaper has an obligation to be on the alert for story ideas. The editors are responsible for maintaining good communication among staff members. In an efficient news-gathering operation, all members of the staff work together to produce accurate, interesting material.