“After Workshops” is a new bsujw column that focuses on taking skills and themes from Summer Workshops and applying them to your school’s media staffs.
Keeping it together in a bustling newsroom can be anything but simple, but here are a few tips to help your staff stay organized while meeting your deadlines.
Make sure everything has (and is in) a home!
Finding places within the newsroom for different materials and making sure that they are always put back into those “homes” is one of the most important aspects of organization. For example, if your publication has a particularly hard time keeping track of camera card readers, then designate a place for them to call home, like a drawer under the camera cabinet. If a certain piece of equipment tends to go missing frequently, consider making a sign-out sheet and keeping those materials at either your editor or adviser’s desks.
Keep a “Hit List” of coverage
This is, from my experience, the best way to keep track of what students, sport teams and organizations are being covered and which ones are not. A “Hit List” can take a lot of different forms, from a Google spreadsheet to a whiteboard hung up in your pub room to the classic huge binder with master lists of students, clubs and sports. When a page in your publication covers, for example, the track team, someone from that page should indicate that on your “Hit List.” This method helps ensure that everyone in your school is getting coverage and no one’s stories are being neglected.
Keep your desk clean
I know this sounds silly, but never leave important things out on your desk or by your computer — especially over a break. You never know when your custodial staff is going to clean desks or throw everything away. Speaking from experience, it is not fun digging through a recycling bin full of the papers from your entire school for your yearbook ladder. Bonus tip: A good way to keep your papers in the pub room but off your desk is to set up mailboxes for all of the editors and the different sections. That way everyone has a place to put different papers and memos, so they don’t get lost in your backpacks.