OUR celebration of Local Newspaper Week continues today by looking at how a story evolves in a multi-media newsroom. GAVIN LEDWITH reports.
● BREAKING NEWS
News comes to the Hartlepool Mail in a variety of ways from the moment staff begin work at around 6am.
Stories or tip-offs may well have been emailed overnight to our email@example.com address.
The public may also be up early to telephone our newsdesk on (01429) 239380 about a local concern.
The emergency services are in regular contact with us too to pass on information about 999 incidents.
Our vigilant team of reporters and photographers also spot stories while travelling around town.
● MORE THAN JUST A NEWSPAPER
Whatever the story, a senior manager will make decisions on publication.
The Hartlepool Mail newspaper, wesbsite, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages ensure our readers are kept up to date at all times with everything that happens in Hartlepool.
If the A19 or A689 is closed, for instance, then the public need to know instantly so that they can alter their journeys.
On Wednesday, May 30, the Peterlee Star is relaunching as bumper paid-for weekly paper.
It will be bigger, brighter and bolder with new columnists, what’s on listings, puzzle pages and, of course, all the news and sport from Peterlee and surrounding areas.
Keep an eye out on our www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and www.peterleestar.co.uk websites for further details.
● USING SOCIAL MEDIA
The number of people following us via our social media accounts is growing daily.
Stories published on our website will be immediately linked to our Facebook. Twitter and Google+ accounts.
Why not join our army of Hartlepool Mail and Peterlee Star followers on Facebook and Google+ and our @HPoolMail and @PeterleeStar Twitter pages?
● PHOTOGRAPHIC AND VIDEO COVERAGE
While publishing breaking news quickly on the web, decisions are taken on how to develop a story for all our platforms.
Our reporters and photographers work throughout the day and night to cover news and sport as it happens.
They may also now record a story on video cameras to be uploaded onto the internet.
This provides added value to a story not previously available.
Recent examples include a video interview with boxer Savannah Marshall when she returned home triumphantly from China after clinching her place at this summer’s London Olympics.
● DECIDING THE NEWS AGENDA
Editorial managers at the Mail are constantly discussing news as it breaks and the treatment of the story in our newspaper, websites and social media accounts.
The news editor, who is in charge of the reporters, and the sports editor will also present a list of upcoming stories at daily conference meetings.
The editor or most senior editorial manager of the day will then decide what articles will be published where, what questions still need to be answered about others and how stories can be developed for different platforms.
● ADDING THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Editorial staff will then act on decisions made in conference to complete pages for the following day’s paper.
So quickly does content evolve that the merits of new stories are constantly discussed after our editorial meetings.
This can continue right up until our deadlines when we still have time to change the way pages look to accommodate the latest news.
Often the way a paper looks the night before publication changes dramatically by the time it is printed as stories continue to break before our final deadlines.
● GETTING IT RIGHT
Working for a newspaper and website is exciting and challenging.
Sports writers can watch Hartlepool United away from home on a winter’s night, file a match report on the final whistle for the internet, file Facebook and Twitter updates, wait around in cold grounds to interview the manager and players, drive home and then begin writing thousands of words in the early hours of the morning for that day’s paper.
Being a journalist is certainly not a 9am-5pm job.
At this month’s council elections they took notes and recorded videos before returning to our offices to work through the night to write their stories and edit recordings.
Senior managers will then study print-outs of the completed pages and approve videos before either are finally published.
● OUT ON THE STREET
Once our deadlines have been met then our papers are printed and distributed to newspaper stockists across our circulation area and to our team of town centre vendors.
By the time you buy the Mail our news agendas will have changed dramatically.
Fresh stories will have emerged since and will have been published on our websites and social media.
And so our rolling news and sports service continues.