Your job is to help manage our story generation. We need to know when news conferences, public meetings and breaking events are happening so we can assign a reporter. Your job is to keep track of the stories we need to cover, 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), with a focus on your week and following Monday
- Comb for story ideas and make phone calls
- Suggest follows and companion pieces
- Find out what the Audio and Video workshops are working on
- Update the Reporting workshop instructor regularly every day on what’s happening
- Update the Desk workshop instructor and the Desk team once a day or as needed
- Your shift is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour for lunch. If there are two assignment editors for the week we will have a morning shift (7-2) and an afternoon shift (2-9). Both editors will collaborate and work as a team.
- Copy pitches to assignment/editorial sked by 8:30 a.m. Check with Terra if you don’t have editing privileges on either Google doc.
- Meet with the Reporting workshop instructor before the 9 a.m. story meeting and throughout the day.
- Meet with the Desk workshop instructor and the other Desk editors after the morning meeting, sometime between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., to discuss the stories of the day. The exact time will vary depending on how long the story meeting takes.
- Your work week runs Monday through Sunday, though it’s not as busy on the weekend and you can do this from home. Usually our job ends Sunday at 4 p.m. AT when you send Terra a handover note for the next assignment editor.
In a Word doc of about one page, include the following:
- Make a note of anything you feel the next assignment editor needs to know about the pitch list, assignments, etc. This may include observations about what worked or didn’t, or possible gaps in our coverage. Don’t copy and paste the list of duties.
- Mention any stories we missed or didn’t cover, and explain if and how we might do them later.
- Look at the Signal site and find five stories that we may want to follow up on or use as a springboard to a possible new story (these should not be the ones the previous assignment editor mentioned). Explain in a line or two why you picked each one.
- Send the handover note to the Desk instructor (Terra) and CC the Reporting instructor (Kelly) on the email by 4 p.m. Sunday AT.
- 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.
- Maintain the pitch sheet, which all reporters file to. This could mean asking a reporter to redo their pitch if it doesn’t make sense. Do not delete pitches from the spreadsheet.
- Write down reporters’ pitches and assignments during the story meeting. Update the editorial sked as needed.
- Keep in contact with reporters on the status of their stories throughout the week.
- Make story suggestions as needed to the Reporting Workshop 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 daily with a producer or designate in the Video workshop and a couple of times a week with the Audio workshop. Determine what those reporters are doing and bring forward suggestions for collaboration or repurposing.
- 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 daily. 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 other 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 Tuesday weekly meetings)
- Nova Scotia legislature committee meetings
- DSU agenda
- Dalhousie senate meeting packages
- SMU Students’ Association
- SMU senate meeting schedule
- SUNSCAD (email email@example.com )
- MSVU Students’ Union
- NSCC events (email firstname.lastname@example.org; Akerley Campus (email email@example.com; Waterfront Campus (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 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/deep dives.
- 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 audience or beat?
Last Updated: January 10, 2019, 4:14 pm AST