Assignment duties (fall 2020)
Assignment includes a range of duties designed to manage our story generation. We need to know when news conferences, public meetings and breaking events are happening so we can assign a reporter. We also need to keep track of enterprise pitches and the stories we are already working on.
- Keep track of our reporters’ pitches and progress on stories
- Monitor our Gmail account and social media for story ideas
- Suggest follows and companion pieces
- Update the instructor regularly on what’s happening
Review the list below. You aren’t expected to do everything on this list during your shift. After all, you have other desk duties. But do what you can and communicate clearly with the instructor.
- Check our Slack for notes/questions from reporters.
- Go over the pitch sheet and check it against the assignment sheet. Talk to the instructor about discrepancies, holes, etc.
- Keep in contact with reporters on the status of their stories.
- Make story suggestions as needed to the instructor.
- Check the CP calendar on Factiva. Search the keyword “look ahead” and pick “The Canadian Press” in the Source drop-down menu.
- Check the firstname.lastname@example.org email account multiple times a day for news releases. Password is in the passwords page (log in to view).
- Check Canada Newswire for news releases. Search for “halifax“ & “nova scotia“
- Check the news releases for Halifax Regional Municipality and the Nova Scotia government
- Check the Nova Scotia Tenders website. Click “Open Tenders”
- Check Statistics Canada’s upcoming releases
- Check Nova Scotia Courts website for docket and recent decisions
- Check Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for upcoming hearings and recent decisions
- Check Halifax Regional Centre for Education news releases
- Check event listings on The Coast, Halifax Noise, Eventbrite and similar sites
- Check for agendas of scheduled meetings and events (students’ union, board of governors, etc.). Make phone calls to get background on issues of interest.
- Check the social media sites of Halifax police, Nova Scotia Power, etc.
- Find out what people are tweeting about by doing an advanced Twitter search (particularly by location), plus Trendsmap for what’s big on Twitter.
- Check Google Trends to see what people are searching on Google.
- Look at trends on Facebook for international stories we could localize.
- Check the “Halifax” subreddit on Reddit to see what users are talking about.
- Read local media for items of interest
- Scan campus PR/events listings daily for story ideas
- Review the most recent Signal stories and see if there are any followups needed. Also, look for ideas for series/explainers.
- Assess the Signal stories posted so far and look for gaps in our coverage. Are we too focused on campus? Are we neglecting a particular community or topic?