This position is mostly about quality control. You scrutinize other people’s copy and the site overall to make sure it all reflects our high standards for publishing.
- File Bootcamp/Audio/Video workshop stories (will vary depending on term)
- Check stories on all platforms for rendering errors
- Order stories on the front page
- Rewrite headline, deck, subheads, captions (i.e. microcontent) as needed
- Prepare simple multimedia to embed in a reporter’s work
- Proofread site for typos and errors
- Copy edit multimedia work of Desk students (depends on term)
- Write corrections or clarifications, if necessary
- Respond to comments/queries on our site
- Manage live events
- Write first copy for breaking news, if required
- Check Parse.ly and Google Analytics dashboard
- Present observations/findings to reporters
- Track and gather video clips for possible use in video workshop (depends on term)
- Your shift is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an hour for lunch. If there are two production 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.
- On Monday, check with the Desk instructor for Bootcamp assignments for the week (depends on term).
- 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.
- On Friday at 4 p.m., present your observations/findings of the web analytics. This is a collaboration with the engagement editor, who focuses on social analytics.
- Your work week runs Monday through Sunday, though it’s not as busy on the weekend and you can do this from home. Usually your job ends Sunday at 5 p.m. AT when you send Terra a handover note for the next production editor.
In a Word doc of about one page, include the following:
- Make a note of anything you feel the next production editor needs to know to prepare for the job. This may include observations about what worked or didn’t, and ideas for improvement. Don’t copy and paste the list of duties.
- After reviewing Parse.ly and Google Analytics, briefly explain why you think one or two particular stories may be performing better than others, and what we might take away from that.
- Send the handover note to the Desk instructor (Terra) by 5 p.m. Sunday AT.
- Check the blackboard in Lab 3 a few times a day for updates and what’s to come.
- The desk team — you, assignment editor, engagement editor and Desk instructor — communicate using Facebook Messenger outside of weekday office hours.
This position consists of 10 sub-roles:
- Copy editor/rewrite desk
- Fix errors/style mistakes in Bootcamp/Video/Audio drafts and fill in gaps as needed. Look in our Signal email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) for drafts from the other workshops. You need to be signed in to WordPress to access the password.
- Look for these things
- File your edited version of a Bootcamp/Video/Audio story directly as a post to WordPress, and let the Desk instructor know it’s there. She’ll look at it first before Katie sees it. NOTE: You don’t need to send the instructor a draft of the Bootcamp/Video/Audio story like you would if you were doing your own reporting.
- Rewrite headline, deck, subheads, captions (i.e. microcontent) for today stories as needed
- Proofread site for typos and errors
- Copy edit multimedia work of Desk students (depends on term). This includes reviewing video, charts, maps, infographics, etc. — before publication.
- 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 there’s a complaint about an error in a story.
- If so, does a story actually need a correction? Not all complaints require a change. If it does, work with the reporter and the instructor to draft text that appears in the story. Place it in the Corrections field on the WordPress post page.
- Corrections take this form
- Comments editor
- Go to the Dashboard in WordPress and look in the Comments section. Approve comments for posting, as long as they don’t violate our commenting policy. Respond to comments/queries as necessary, particularly when a commenter raises a question or asks for information.
- 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.
- Manage event itself — on Twitter or within ScribbleLive.
- Breaking news editor
- Write first copy for breaking news, if assigned by the Desk instructor. This could be a headline and a few paragraphs with “more to come” at the end of the post.
- Multimedia editor
- Create a simple chart or map to embed in a reporter’s piece, as needed. Refer to the guide for how-tos.
- 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).
- Prepare and deliver a presentation on Friday at 4 p.m. Provide an overview and briefly explain why you think one or two particular stories may be performing better than others, and what we might take away from that. The presentation should be about 15 minutes.
- Video curator
- Keep track of any video gathered by our reporters. You may need to provide it to our colleagues in the video workshop, should they need it.
- Copy editor/rewrite desk
Last Updated: January 8, 2019, 8:12 pm AST