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Thursday 23 May 2019
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25th Anniversary

A day in the life of a newsroom

Ken Chee Hing, Daily Editor, Newsday.
Ken Chee Hing, Daily Editor, Newsday.

KEN CHEE HING

Daily Editor

A day in the life of Newsday starts at midnight, when the print edition hits the streets, and ends at 11.59 pm the following day, with the next edition.

In other words, a day in Newsday is never-ending, 24-7. Sure, we journalists may go home physically, but just like time, news waits for no man, and so we remain on call day in day out... including Christmas Day.

Let’s delve into what a day at Newsday entails.

Our reporters and photographers are key components in the newsroom engine that drives the People's Newspaper. They’re given assignments every morning, depending on what scheduled events we know are happening, such as Parliament, court sittings, press conferences, protests – as well as follow-ups to stories in the news, or information reporters get from the sources they’ve built up over the years, or unexpected events that crop up during the day, which, sadly may well involve crime.

Once information on a news item is verified, the first order of business is for the reporter to produce a brief which is uploaded to our online paper and promoted on our official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The reporter then briefs his or her immediate supervisor, who in the case of news would be news editors Keino Swamber and or Horace Monsegue, on the news story, in order to get guidance in terms of how the story is shaped.

In today's sad reality of fake news and propaganda information peddled as news, especially online, our journalists, backed by their editors, pay particular attention the ensure the information we put out is accurate, newsworthy, in the public's interest, on all matters affecting their lives be it news, sports, politics or the world.

News reaching us is usually in a raw form that needs verifying, clarifying and polishing. Our reporters are tasked, with the guidance of the editors, not only to gather the news in its raw form but to also to refine it by way of researching the topic, getting reactions from all parties involved and presenting it in a package that will inform, educate and entertain you, our readers.

Once the principles of journalism are fulfilled and the Who, What, When, Where and Why criteria are filled, the reporter writes the story, which is then edited. If there is an update to be made on the story posted online earlier, then that is done. At Newsday, our story list is the news editor's Bible. All reporters and photographers, under pain of death or, much worse, a memo from Editor in Chief Judy Raymond, are required to indicate briefly the stories they are working on for the next day's edition.

At around 4 pm daily, Monday to Friday, editors gather in the hallowed cupboard under the stairs, aka Judy's office, to discuss the strongest stories of the day for potential use on the front and back pages, and also the best photos. This meeting is usually chaired by yours truly, who briefs the editor in chief and other editors on the potential leads.

Once a decision is made, the daily editor works on the front page while the sports editor works on the back. The news editor, using the stories/photos list, then proceeds to apportion stories and photos to pages. Stories are edited and sent to the pagination department for pages to be built and then sent to press.

Job done for another day. While the news editor is taken up on evenings with putting the paper to bed, the morning editor is tasked with preparing an assignment list to guide our journalists on follow-ups to stories already written, new story ideas and set assignments such as press conferences.

Meanwhile, our digital elves ensure that the online edition of the paper is uploaded.

And all week the reporters assigned to the Sunday desk and the business magazine will have been working on features, in-depth stories and other content for their respective publications.

This is a basic breakdown of how your journalists and editors work on a daily basis to produce the paper you read, either online or in print. Here at Newsday, we take pride in our work, and we uphold the dictum on our front page. We are the newspaper that is in the business of Telling It As It Is.

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25th Anniversary