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Organization Of The Paper


=1. The City Room
The city room is the place where a reporter
presents himself for work the first day. It is impossible to give an
exact description of this room, because no two editorial offices are
ever alike. If the reporter has allied himself with a country weekly, he
may find the city room and the business office in one, with the owner of
the paper and himself as the sole dependence for village news. If he has
obtained work on a small daily, he may find a diminutive office, perhaps
twelve by fifteen feet, with the city editor the only other reporter. If
he has been employed by a metropolitan journal, he will probably find
one large room and several smaller adjoining offices, and an editorial
force of twenty to thirty or forty helpers, depending upon the size of
the paper.

=2. Metropolitan Papers
The metropolitan paper, of course, is the
most complex in organization, and is therefore the one for a beginner to
examine. The chances are two to one that the cub will have to begin on a
so-called country daily, but if he knows the organization of a large
paper, he will experience little trouble in learning the less
complicated system of a small one. For this reason the reader is given
in Part I an explanation of the organization of a representative
metropolitan newspaper.

=3. All Papers Different
The reader is cautioned, however, against
taking this exposition as an explanation of anything more than a typical
newspaper. The details of organization of various papers will be found
to differ somewhat. The number of editors and their precise duties will
vary. One journal will be a morning, another an afternoon, paper; a
third will be a twenty-four-hour daily, employing a double shift of men
and having one city editor with day and night assistants. One paper will
have a universal copy desk with a single copy editor handling all
departments. Another will have, instead of a state editor, a section
editor, a man who handles all special matter not carried by the press
service from possibly half a dozen states. Thus the organizations vary
in certain minor details, sometimes materially so; but, on the whole,
one general system will prevail. And it is to give the student an
understanding of a typical newspaper plant that Part I is written.

Next: The Editorial Rooms

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