How a story idea becomes a story:
- Story idea born
- Idea proposed and/or assigned to editor
- Editor assigns story to reporter
- Writer prepares for story
- Writer writes story
- Writer sends story to editor
- Editor reads and revises story
- Editor sends story to Copy Desk
- Copy Desk fact-checks and revises story
- Copy Desk sends story to Production
- Production places story in newspaper computer template
- Story and newspaper are printed
Story ideas can come from walking around campus, going to student meetings, receiving press releases and such.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The copy desk has several copy editors on hand who proofread and fact-check about one third of the day's stories.
The Desk Chief makes the final revisions on the story before it is sent to Production.
The story has one last chance to be revised if any minor adjustments are needed.
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.
The story appears in print the following morning.
Alligator Newsroom Deadlines:
- 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. : Budget meeting
- 6 p.m. : First round of story deadlines – typical stories due to editor
- 9 p.m. : Second round of story deadlines – all stories except non-late stories due to editor
11 p.m. : Final story deadline – late stories due to editor
11:30 p.m. : Story revised by editor and passed to copy desk
12:30 p.m. : Story revised by copy desk and sent to production