Published on October 21st, 20110
Blog: A day in the The Independent newsroom
An insight into the daily goings-on in one of Britain’s leading newspapers by a junior reporter.
Typically the day begins at 9am, but most journalists tend to get in closer to 10am. Some turn up much later depending on if they are at a press conference or some other event.
This period is quite relaxed as journalists, drink coffee, read news and share ideas. There is often time to squeeze in a visit to the Atrium for some breakfast and a polystyrene cup of tea. It’s also an opportune time to catch up on emails and gather story ideas ahead of the news conference.
Around 10am, or just after, the news editors will typically speak to the reporters about potential stories they each have in mind for the paper. There they will go through the ‘flat plan’ – the number of pages in the issue, advertising space etc.
The news conference meeting generally begins at 10am/10.15am – or once all reporters are in – and sees the different section editors getting together to discuss all the potential options. During this time, journalists will carry out preliminary work on stories and source or make enquiries on any others requested by the news editor.
After the news conference, stories will be reviewed with the journalists and then the rest of the time will be spent on the phones, responding to emails and writing copy. Throughout the day, journalists always keep an eye on breaking news and follow it up with web copy. They also break online any story that is unlikely to hold for the next issue.
Lunch doesn’t always happen, but a visit to the Atrium often occurs around 1pm.
There is usually a second news conference around 2.30pm to establish what is going to make the final cut. At this point, journalists will be asked if their stories ‘have legs’ so spaces in the paper can be divvied up. Most copy is then submitted around 5pm, but this can be extended is a story is particularly taxing.
After this, journalists will talk to their section editor about any loose ends/ what can and cannot be mentioned in the copy. People then tend to leave around 6pm, although some hacks work much later depending on what they are following up.