22.1.2021: Role: Subeditor Live blog/News site

On the Newsday, as a part of my role as subeditor I was supporting the team with story ideas and content from our 9:30 am meeting. I was able to source two interviews (a James Bond super-fan and a musician) for the entertainment section ran by Laura. I supported and worked closely with my team and with Holly, our editor – writing content for both the live blog and new site posts. I found that the high intensity that the Newsday brought made me work harder and faster to complete tasks promptly. If I was to do my role again, I would have some stories ready before the 9:30 am briefing as that I could get on with writing and posting content as soon as possible.

I wrote one article about Tower Hamlets’ £330,000 fine for the death of a child in a park. After not having a login for Press Association, I used the BBC to source my story, but found this to bring problems as the council’s statement about the incident did not feature in the BBC’s article. After searching online, I found the source and quoted that in my post. I will be more vigilant with the sourcing of my quotes and information as I want to be as legal in my reporting as possible.

In addition to this article, I also covered the news that a serving police officer had died from COVID-19. I was mindful that in my writing I was respectful to the bereaved family.

After having previous experience working WordPress, I found the posting of the news stories easy to some extent. I had to get used to the layout of the City University new site which is different from the design I am familiar with. After David explained to me where the stand-firsts and positions the articles should be, I had no problems. I supported other members of my team who were not as proficient in WordPress.

The team called via zoom and communicated through a WhatsApp group to keep communication and copy flowing as best as possible. I found this to be an effective way of working remotely however after lunch, as there was a back-up of stories to be approved I think the team got confused and lost in the subediting process. There was a lot of information being communicated throughout our team and at times it became difficult to hear one another. To rectify this problem in the future, I would set up a Google Drive with a spreadsheet with a list of all the articles, who is writing them, who is editing them and if it has been approved. I think this would help everyone to be aware of their tasks and keep everything in order.

I think a few of the issues that we faced as a team could be attributed to this being the first week of these remote-working Newsdays and there were some initial problems, such as with the Press Association logins, WordPress issues and the live blog delays. I would be prepared to rectify any of these issues if I was to do this Newsday again. To aid any future students in a live blog Newsday, I would recommend getting familiar with the WordPress system and how it works with the liveblog software.



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