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
- Update the editorial calendar (bottom) and classroom blackboard as needed
- Monitor our Gmail account and social media for story ideas
- Suggest follows and companion pieces
- Find out what the Audio and Video workshops are working on
- Update the instructor regularly on what’s happening
You will need to be in the newsroom to do this work. There are two shifts a day: morning (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and afternoon (1-6 p.m.). If you’re on the morning shift, monitor the news and keep track of anything we need to match, advance or localize. You can do this from home, but you need to be on time for the story meeting and prepared to discuss your ideas.
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 and the next person on desk duty.
- Update or maintain contact info for our reporters on the guide. Password is in the passwords page (log in to view)
- Input upcoming meetings, conferences, events, etc. into the Editorial Calendar (get password) so we know what’s happening in the area. As well, report to the story meeting on new events/listings as they come up. NOTE: we don’t necessarily cover everything in the calendar.
- Go over the pitch sheet with the instructor.
- Write down reporters’ pitches and assignments during the story meeting (if you’re on the morning shift). Review the assignment sheet and notify the instructor of anything requiring an update.
- 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 in with a producer or designate in the Audio or Video workshop to determine what they expect for the week. Bring forward suggestions for collaboration or repurposing.
- Check the email@example.com email account multiple times a day for news releases. Password is in the passwords page (log in to view). NOTE: only use a computer in the lab to do this.
- 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.
- Halifax regional council and committees (council agendas available Friday afternoon before Monday weekly meetings)
- Nova Scotia legislature committee meetings
- DSU agenda
- Dalhousie senate meeting packages
- SMU Students’ Association
- SMU senate meeting schedule
- SUNSCAD (email firstname.lastname@example.org )
- MSVU Students’ Union
- NSCC events (email email@example.com; Akerley Campus (email firstname.lastname@example.org; Waterfront Campus (email email@example.com)
- 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?
Last Updated: January 2, 2020, 3:52 pm AST