There are two main divisions of newsroom work reporting, which includes gathering and writing news and feature stories and the taking of news and feature photographs, and- desk work, which is the selection and preparation for printing of the written material and photographs submitted by reporters, photographers, news services, and syndicates. Those who do the desk work are the editors
This distinction between the news gatherers and the news processors in quite sharp on large daily newspapers. Some editors will go a year or more without writing a single news story, and metropolitan reporters have nothing to do with the selection of a
headline or page placement of the stories they write. On smaller papers an editorial staff member may spend part of the day as a reporter, photographer, and writer and the other part in selecting and processing the news for publication.
Some men and women find their greatest satisfaction in being repOrters all their lives-probing for information, being close to events 8S they happen, and mingling with the people who make the news. Theirs is the most exciting part of newspaper work when big stories are breaking, and they are the people the public knows. Few outsiders have any knowledge of the inside office workers who really put the paper together
The fact remains, however, that a reporter is rarely promoted directly to a high editorial place on a large or mediumsized daily. The top jobs go to those who have had desk experience. They are the organizers, the planners, and they Also have demonstrated a keen sense of news value and judgment. By the same token, few desk workers arc truly successful unless they have had a thorough grounding in reporting.
A beginner may be a city hall beat reporter for a small daily or the telegraph editor, handling the wire and writing headlines. Sticking to the first choice could lead eventually to a m tropolitan reporting staff; to the latter, to a large paper’s copy desk. Or, in either capacity, the newcomer may remain with the small daily !lIld soon rise to editorial management status.
On most daily newspapers there are specialized editingreporting jobs in which the editorial worker gathers news and also helps to prepare it for print. The sports, business, entertainment, and lifestyle pages fall into this category. Varied opportunities for specialization may arise in one of the broader general news areas: politics, science, labour, religion, education, urban and racial problems, space and aviation, social work, and public health.
A very important area of work is the editorial page. Editorial page staffs run to eight or ten members on metropolitan papers that pride themselves on the qu1ility of their opinion offerings. The editorial page director coordinates their work and consults with the publiser on major policy decisions. At the smaller daily level there may be only one editorial writer. Most’ weekly newspaper editors write editorial columns or more informal “personal columns.
Opportunities to advance on an editorial staff come in many forms. As a rule, when an important vacancy occurs, .” management chooses for promotion to a top posi,tion a man or woman with all-around experience and a record of dependability, goodjudgment under pressure, and creative thinking
The newspaper photographer fills a large and growing role on the staff of every daily newspaper, large or small, as the field of photojournalism expands. On a newspaper the photographer’s primary task is to record in a single picture or a sequence, rapidly and accurately, .the news and feature developments of the day that lend themselves to pictorial treatment. The photographer may take pictures for the news, sports, life style and entertainment pages, as well as for the promotion and advertising departments, so versatility is important. On large staffs employing 20 or more photographers and technicians, individuals may develop specialties and work primarily in these fields. Reporters on small newspapers frequently take the pictures themselves .Planning photographic coverage on good newspaper staffs is 8S meticulous 8S the arrangement, of coverage by reporters.
Large newspapers have photo editors who specialize in this work. Memorable newsphotos usually are the result of having a photographer assigned to the right place at the proper time, plus the photographer’s instinct for the climactic moment in a news situation and technical ability to take an effective picture when
that moment comes.
Newspaper photography has advanced far from the days when an aggressive copyboy of limited education could be taught the rudiments of a camera and turned loose as an ambulance chasing photographer. Today many news photographers have college educations or have attended professional photography
schools. Newspaper photographers receive the same salaries as reporters under Newspaper Guild pay scales. They frequently supplement their salary with overtime assignments and with after-hour jobs such as photographing weddings. Freelance photographers, not on the newspaper (payroll, are paid for newsworthy pictures that they submit for publication.
The Buslless Side of Newspapers
Although the news department is the most publicized part of a newspaper, it is only one portion of a publication’s complex organization. Sale and preparation of advertising, efficient
mechanical production, and the sale and reliable delivery of the newspaper copies are essential for success. Revenue from advertising and circulation sales must surpass the cost of production if a newspaper is to survive.
The task of overseeing the departments, coordinating their work, stimulating the generation of revenue, and setting goals falls upon management ..In earlier times when competition from other media was less intense and operating costs lower, newspapers often succeeded despite inefficient management because readers liked their editorial and advertising content. That has changed. Many of the newspapers that failed in recent years, suffering from poor management, couldn’t survive when the pinch came.
Management is recognized today 8S a critically important field, requiring across-the-board knowledge of all departments as well as, in many cases, specialized training in one. The corporate groups that now own a large majority of newspapers have created a professional class of media managers who frequently are moved from one member newspaper to another to solve problems. Below are some of the areas they examine