Production duties (fall 2020)
The duties below are mostly about quality control. We need to scrutinize our copy and the site overall to make sure it reflects our high standards for publishing.
- Proofread site for typos and errors
- Check stories on all platforms for rendering errors
- Order stories on the front page
- Rewrite headline, deck, subheads, captions (i.e. microcontent) for accuracy and clarity as needed
- Write corrections or clarifications, if necessary
- Manage live events
- Write first copy for breaking news, if required
- Review our website analytics
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 determine what’s a priority, do what you can and communicate clearly with the instructor.
There are a number of sub-roles that fall under general “production” duties:
- Copy editor/rewrite desk
- Proofread site for typos and errors. Look for these things
- Rewrite headline, deck, subheads, captions (i.e. microcontent) for reporters’ stories as needed. Always consult the instructor before editing published copy.
- Front page editor
- Choose and select the lead story(ies)
- Sticky stories:
- You make a story the lead story by checking “Stick this post to the front page” under the Visibility option of the Post page (under Published) within WordPress.
- You must always “unstick” stories when you replace them with other “sticky” stories. This puts them back in the normal story order of newest on top.
- You shouldn’t have more than two or three sticky stories at a time (often only one)
- The general criteria for sticky stories:
- “Important” — generally newsy and/or has impact
- Timely (e.g. regional council decision)
- An exclusive story that only we have
- A story with a good image. (It will boost traffic)
- Spotlight stories:
- This section, in the second row, is for highlighting older stories or features
- You can add a Spotlight story on the front page by assigning a post the category of “Spotlight.” (The front page will show a maximum of 3 Spotlight stories; if no stories are assigned, the row disappears).
- Provide additional context for a post by adding text to the Spotlight Story Kicker field on the Edit Post screen.
- Spotlight posts are removed from the main, newest-on-top flow of stories — so no story appears twice on the front page.
- Technical editor
- Check each story on multiple platforms (or resize your browser window to check at tablet and smartphone widths). You can also use this website to check responsiveness of our front page and story posts.
- Corrections editor
- The instructor will alert you if an edit to a story is necessary and a correction needs to be added. Place the correction written by the instructor in the Corrections field on the WordPress post page. Corrections take this form
- Live event editor
- Write a “story” in WordPress to announce our coverage, then update it as needed. Remove “live” from any kicker, headline or deck after the event is over.
- Manage reporters and editors on the ground and in the newsroom.
- Breaking news editor
- Write first copy for breaking news, if assigned by the instructor. This could be a headline and a few paragraphs with “more to come” at the end of the post.
- Story performance reviewer
- Check the Parse.ly analytics dashboard. In the drop-down menu at the top, choose “signalhfx.ca” to focus on only our stories. Read this useful guide on the basics of analytics and how to use the dashboard.
- Look at the Parse.ly dashboard and specifically at the top performing stories. Go to Posts, click “Historical” to set the calendar for our workshop dates, then look at Page Views and Visitors).
- Copy editor/rewrite desk