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Behind the Scenes of a Newsroom

July 22, 2023
Newsroom interview with a woman

For a lot of people, the media, who’s who and how it works is a complete mystery. While many people listen to, read about, or watch the news in some capacity, very few know exactly what goes on behind the scenes.

For example, what’s the difference between an editor and a producer? How do people get in touch with journalists? How and where do news organisations find their stories? 

Understanding how the process works makes coordinating publicity much easier.

Working out who is who!

TELEVISION AND RADIO

A producer is the story gatekeeper at radio and television stations. Each radio segment, news, or talkback show usually has a producer, to filter through the stories that get pitched to the program. The producer is the gatekeeper people need to impress with their pitch! They work very much behind the scenes, so their faces or names may not be familiar, but when trying to target a radio or television show specifically, contacting the producer is the first step.

Producers are always on the lookout for experts to feature, guests to interview, and stories to showcase. This means that, if a story appears in a newspaper and is later picked up by a television or radio show, it would have been the producer who made that decision and contacted the business directly (making no piece of publicity too small!).

News Presenter

A news presenter – also known as a newsreader, newscaster, and news anchor – presents the news during a program, and introduces the journalist and the news story. News presenters do not decide on the program’s content, and of course in the newsroom.

Journalist

A journalist is the person that conveys the story, once the content has been approved. On TV, the journalist is the one behind the microphone, reporting the facts and figures to the viewers. They research the story, interview the experts, and sometimes edit the final presentation or radio grab before it goes live on air.

THE PRINT MEDIA (INCLUDING ONLINE)

Editor or Chief of Staff

An editor or Chief of Staff fills a similar role to a television or radio producer, but in print media. They’re the gatekeepers of newspapers and magazines, and are usually responsible for maintaining the publication’s style and brand. 

Just like producers, editors are always on the lookout for stories, and consume all different types of media searching for stories to use to feature or report on in more detail.

Sub-Editor

A sub-editor checks all articles before they go to print, to ensure there are no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors, the writing style and tone adheres to the outlets guidelines, and the wording flows. Sub-editors also ensure that the article is factually correct, and is appropriate for the publication’s audience.

Journalist

A journalist researches and gathers information, and presents it to the public in a news story or feature article. Journalists also pitch story ideas to the editor of a publication, for final approval before they begin. Journalists don’t have to be aligned with a publication to write for it; there are many freelance journalists who contribute to many different publications and news outlets.

Knowing who plays what role, and pitching to the right person, increases the chances of the story being picked up.

CONCLUSION

Understanding what’s going behind cameras and successful newspapers surely will help you have a good grasp of reality. Your perspective may change with what you thought versus with what is, but it doesn’t change the fact that both ways are helpful. Of course, with Meet The Press MasterClass, you will be equipped with the important skills to upscale your business with the help of understanding more in the media landscape.

Apply for the Masterclass

Get in before the competition does so you can pitch to Journos and increase your exposure!

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