Home Introduction to journalism THE JOURNALISM INDUSTRY: KEY STRUCTURAL MAKE UP

THE JOURNALISM INDUSTRY: KEY STRUCTURAL MAKE UP

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1.0 INTRODUCTION

In this unit, the structural make-up of journalism industry is discussed. A reporter needs a thorough familiarity with the set-up of his organisation in order for him to understand and appreciate the intrigues of newspapers production.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  1.  Identify the major personnel in the news industry
  2. Highlight their key functions of their jobs 

3.0 MAIN BODY

3.1 Structure of News Industry 

The news industry is a complex one. The structure or depends mainly on the resources available to the owner. The resources organisation in turn influences the size of the organisation irrespective of the size of particularly the print media house, certain key personnel must be put in place to perform certain legitimate functions. Where the size of the organisation does not accommodate all of the key staff, then functions are easily combined for adjunct personnel to perform. We some shall now look at the key personnel and their duties.

3.2 Editorial Staff

The key editorial staffs are the reporters and editors.

  1.  Reporters: These are people or specialist who see and report events for the public. They are actually news gatherers. They are the basic set of journalist. Without the reporters, all other personnel may have nothing to do in the newsroom. The reporter’s main function is to be at the scene of event, whether assigned by the editor or a regular beat. He is the one to first apply the elements, values, determinants and essentials of good news reporting. Modern art of reporting has narrowed down the areas of reporters’ specialization. Special reporters have been assigned to report crimes, court proceedings and assembly procedures, industry, sports, labour, entertainment etc. In each of these fields, there are always a techniques and ways in which the report must follow in order to attract readers. Each of specialized areas of reporting also has its language, slangs and the terms, in order to carry the right message. His job ends when he sends in his report to the editor. 
  2.  The Editor: The editor is the principal gatekeeper in the newsroom. They are many kinds of editors. While some edit for specialized interest like news, picture, women, foreign matters, editorial page/opinion pages, sports, features and layout, others are designated because of the need to facilitate the process itself. For example, sub-Editors or Copy Editors. 

Generally, editors edit copies of news stories sent in by reporters. Editors make corrections in facts, spellings, grammar, names, dates, and claims. They also edit to ensure that the copy fits into
the house stylebook or the organisation. An editor therefore is a manager as well as a supervisor. In order to perform such skill, an editor must not just be intelligent but must be a motivator, have a good command of English, have a sense of humour, have a nose for news, have the wealth of experience in journalism, and have good professional manner. And all these must be in addition to being a good policy maker, being creative and dynamic, being a good team leader and worker and being responsible ethically and professionally.

3.3 The Production Staff

The production staff are the inhabitants and operators of the second level of news processors. They are often called the production men. A production manager usually heads the production department. The production manager not only ensures that the news copies sent by the editorial department is typeset, he also ensure that the thoroughly check the typeset materials, while the paste-up men situate

proofreaders stories and artwork where such materials belong. The manager ensures that the plate making process is in order. The also department has a crop of the following experts: production

  1.  Compositors: Those who typeset by hand. 
  2. Typesetting Machine Operators. 
  3.  Proofreaders: Check the gallery proofs side by side the original copy for errors.
  4.  Make-up personnel: Assemblers of types and photo engravings in page forms.
  5. Stone hands: Arrange the pages in proper sequence. 
  6.  Printers: Those who operate the machines that turn out the newspaper in the form that readers read.

3.4 The Business Department Staff

The business department is the third and the last stage of the tripartite
structure of the newspaper process. The principal personnel of department are the circulation and the advertising managers and staff. this The circulation manager along with his team does the marketing job. He is responsible for the sales of the newspaper copies. He therefore strategize on how the copies of the newspaper can must distributed to the readers. be Note that a newspaper is a business. Most newspapers have a managing director whose function is that of an MD in any business i.e. he is to see

that the business is run efficiently, that it makes the most economic use of its resources to manufacture a saleable product, and finally to see that the business makes a profit. That is why this department is referred to as the lifeblood of the mass media, hence it must be managed by capable

and experienced hands. Vendors form a large clunk of the circulation manager’s personnel pool. Vendors are independent personnel who collect and sell newspapers on commission. It is important to note that the circulation manager is influenced by time, in the same manner as other editorial and production staffs are circulation people. But are only expected to maximise their circulation only if other departments (editorial and production) have optimise their own share of time and quality of work.

3.5 The Administrative Adjunct ;The adjunct department consist of the personnel account and public relations units. While the personnel manager is responsible for all administrative functions including staffing, remunerations and promotion, the public relation expert manages the various relationships between the organisation and the various units and groups within and outside the organisation.

Self Assessment Exercise 4.1

How do the staff and functions of the editorial departments differ from those of production and Business?

4.0 CONCLUSION

In all, most of the functions of the personnel dovetail with each other and therefore complimentary. Hence, all the departments in the news industry are important.

5.0 SUMMARY

In this unit, you have learnt that:

  1.  The business of journalism revolves round three major departments/units, namely: editorial, production and business. Other adjacent units are the personal and public relations.
  2.  The three principal departments parallel the three key interests of journalism which are (1) news gathering (2) news processing and (4) news disseminating. 
  3. The principal actors in each of the basic units are reporters and editors for the editorial section; proof readers, compositors, typesetters, stone hands and make up hands for the production section; and vendors, advertisers, marketers for the business department.

6.0 TUTOR MARKED ASSIGNMENT

From your understanding of the structures of a typical journalism environment, draw an organisation representing the major units and their functions.

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