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.

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