A look inside the newsroom

Most people don’t realize there are hundreds of students employed at the Daily during fall and spring.

Anna Weggel

If you’re wondering about the way the Daily is organized, the way we do things, or how we decide what to write about, allow me to show you.

Let’s take a step into our newsroom.

Newsroom

Our newsroom is divided into four desks: city, campus, policy and projects. Each desk has an editor, four reporters and a reporter intern. These desks report, write and edit all of the stories in the news section of the Daily. Sometimes you’ll see stories without bylines, and those are Associated Press wire stories. But you’ll never see those on the front page.

These 20 reporters, four editors, our managing editor and I come up with story ideas and those of us that are news managers rank the paper. Most reporters are assigned specific beats, or topics, to cover, and they pitch story ideas to their editors at weekly desk meetings.

By midday on Thursday, we know what the next week’s papers are going to look like, barring any last-minute additions or breaking news. Though we follow the philosophy of the more planning the better, we always leave wiggle room for last-minute changes, which inevitably happen with a daily paper.

Our Sports and A&E sections work independently of the newsroom. An editor and assistant editor head each up; there are four Sports reporters and one intern, and A&E has four reporters and one intern.

Something many people don’t know is that we often fly our sports reporters to away games. If you’re ever curious to know if the sports stories you read are first-hand accounts, look for a special notation at the beginning of the story that gives you the name of the city the writer is reporting from.

Something many people don’t know about A&E is that they could literally swim in the amount of material that is mailed to them. People send weird items from all over the country to A&E to get them to cover their play, band, movie, book or product. It doesn’t always work, but it does make for a total mess.

Story ideas

Let me paint a picture of a perfect story idea for you: It’s timely; it’s relevant to our readership, which is the University community; it’s interesting; and it’s issue-based.

Though there is definitely a time and a place for event coverage, we strive to get to the heart of the issues surrounding this community.

If your student organization is having some sort of celebratory event – that’s great. We’ve even created an events calendar where we will list it for you for free.

But that’s not the kind of stuff we want to write about and that’s not the kind of stuff you want us to write about.

We’re happy to listen to your story ideas, always, but we above all else want to hear and write about the issues you are facing. Journalism doesn’t always have to be about problems, but it should be about issues.

So if you have story ideas or issues you are facing, let us know. The best way to get a hold of us is to e-mail me, our managing editor or one of our associate editors. You can find all of our e-mail addresses on page 2.

You are our readership. You are our news. Talk to us.

Anna Weggel welcomes comments at [email protected]