Writing on Deadline


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Writing on Deadline

  1. 1. Writing on deadline Dianne Smith, MJE
  2. 2. If a publication is going to be distributed on time, deadlines must be met by each person on the staff.
  3. 3. If even one staff member fails to make a deadline, the whole production schedule will be thrown off. If a reporter fails to make a deadline, then the person doing layout for the page on which that story is to appear will be late getting the page done, which will make the section editor, copy editor, assistant editor and editor-in-chief late in getting their jobs done. Printers generally run on a tight schedule, and if the publication is not received on time, they will move it to the back of the line and print the publications of those who got theirs to press on time.
  4. 4. Production Schedule The editor and assistant editor of the paper will provide each staff member with a production calendar. Working backwards from the distribution date, the editors will determine when each item to appear in that issue must be turned in, completed, in order for the publication to be printed on time.
  5. 6. Counting backwards from the distribution date, editors will determine each deadline.
  6. 7. The newspaper must go to press on this date in order to be delivered in time to distribute…
  7. 8. … on THIS date
  8. 9. In order to go to press on THIS date…
  9. 10. All THESE deadlines must be met
  10. 11. All ads must be turned in by this date!
  11. 12. The days designated for staying after school are REQUIRED if you are not finished with your pages.
  12. 13. You may stay ANY day after school if you need to, not just on the designated days.
  13. 14. Meeting deadlines is your responsibility as a staff member. Following are some tips to help you meet each deadline.
  14. 15. Keep your deadline calendar with you so that you will be reminded when something is due.
  15. 16. Reporters
  16. 17. Begin working on your story immediately. As soon as you get your assignment, start scheduling interviews and researching the background information for the story.
  17. 18. Organize your notes immediately after your interviews are completed. Sort through the information and determine how you can best tell this story. Select your opening and closing quotes, write your lead and fill in the body of the story by alternating quotes and transitions. This is the rough draft.
  18. 19. Submit your story to your section editor as soon as your rough draft is completed. You do not have to wait until the deadline to do this. The sooner you do it, the faster you can work on your revisions and get to the final, publishable version.
  19. 20. After each editor has checked your copy, make the needed revisions immediately while the needed changes are on your mind. After running it through the spell checker and editing it for style and grammar, save your final story in your folder on the server and DESTROY ALL OTHER VERSIONS IMMEDIATELY.
  20. 21. Now your story is ready to be placed on the page by the page editor. Make sure that the page editor has found the corrected version of your story. (If you have destroyed all other versions, this should not be a problem.
  21. 22. Page Editors
  22. 23. As soon as you know which page you will be creating for the paper, get the page ready by duplicating the template, making sure folio information is current, and blocking out the advertising area.
  23. 24. When the final copy of the story for your page is completed, immediately begin placing it on the page. You do not have to wait until just before the deadline to do this. Work with the reporter and photographer and artist to find out what sidebars, photographs or artwork is available or needs to be obtained. Give the photographer or artist enough time to get the job done for you.
  24. 25. When everything is placed on your page, check it over. Run the stories, headlines and captions through PageMaker’s spellchecker. Double check headlines to make sure they reflect what the story is about and do not have repetition of key words. Double check captions for accuracy. Make sure your font styles are correct for each part of the page. Make sure you have placed bylines, photocredits and page creation credits properly. Finally, run a page proof so that you can check everything again on paper.
  25. 26. After checking the page proof for accuracy, make any needed corrections on the computer and print out another copy to give to the section editor, copy editor, assistant editor, editor-in-chief and adviser to check over.
  26. 27. Make any needed corrections and print your final page. Tape it to the layout sheet and turn in.
  27. 28. Advertising Manager
  28. 29. Set the advertising deadline and enforce it. As soon as ads are in, begin blocking them so that you will know how many inches of ads will be on each page before pages are created. Begin building ads immediately. Keep ads from previous issues so that they can be reused as this will save you some time. Check ads for accuracy, spelling, etc.
  29. 30. Section editors, copy editor, assistant editor and editor-in-chief
  30. 31. Encourage your staff members to keep going when you see they are getting frustrated. Help them if you see they need help. YOU know when you need something. Make sure you get it. You are the leaders of the publication. Honor that role by setting the example. Strive to finish your assignments early so that you can work with newer staff members if they need help. BE AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE.
  31. 32. All Staffers
  32. 33. Sell ads by the ad deadline. Download pictures from the digital camera immediately and erase the pictures from the camera. Make sure to take out the batteries and put them in the charger when you are through with the camera so that they will be ready for the next person. If you are working on more than one assignment, give priority to anything which might affect someone else’s deadline.