How a story idea becomes a story:

  1. Story idea born
  2. Story ideas can come from walking around campus, going to student meetings, receiving press releases and such.

  3. Idea proposed and/or assigned to editor
  4. If a reporter finds a story idea, he or she will verify with their editor that it deserves coverage and should be placed under a specific beat.

  5. Editor assigns story to reporter
  6. The editor whose beat the story falls under must find a reporter who is knowledgable about the topic or at least available to cover the idea at hand.

  7. Writer prepares for story
  8. The reporter now must do background research, read past articles, look up sources and do pre-story interviews to gain a firm grasp on the story.

  9. Writer writes story
  10. The writer goes out with his or her reporter's notepad and writing instrument and perhaps a voice recorder if so desired. Questions are written out in advance and the reporter is focused and ready to take quick, clean and comprehensive notes.

  11. Writer sends story to editor
  12. The story may be sent inside the office through the network server, or the reporter may send it from a remoted computer. Either way, all stories are given to the editor throught computers.

  13. Editor reads and revises story
  14. The editor makes sure the most pressing news and effects of the story, or the "so what?" factor, is in or near the lede. The editor also makes sure the story is coherent, well-written and within the proper length count.

  15. Editor sends story to Copy Desk
  16. The copy desk has several copy editors on hand who proofread and fact-check about one third of the day's stories.

  17. Copy Desk fact-checks and revises story
  18. The Desk Chief makes the final revisions on the story before it is sent to Production.

  19. Copy Desk sends story to Production
  20. The story has one last chance to be revised if any minor adjustments are needed.

  21. Production places story in newspaper computer template
  22. The page where the story will be is printed on computer paper and looked at by the night editor, who is the last line of defense against any errors in the story.

  23. Story and newspaper are printed
  24. The story appears in print the following morning.

Alligator Newsroom Deadlines: