What Does an Assignment Editor Do?
Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More
The Balance / Ellen Lindner
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- Assignment Editor Duties & Responsibilities
Assignment Editor Salary
- Education, Training, & Certification
- Assignment Editor Skills & Competencies
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An assignment editor works at the assignment desk, which is the nerve center of any newsroom. This is where newsroom staff members monitor multiple sources for breaking news, including police and fire scanners. When possible news arises, the assignment editor works with reporters, photographers, producers, and other staff members to assign and develop story ideas.
Small companies sometimes have one assignment editor who is responsible for organizing the assignment desk to operate around the clock. In larger newsrooms, there may be a team of assignment editors that take turns staffing the desk.
Assignment Editor Duties & Responsibilities
The job generally requires the ability to perform the following duties:
- Monitor multiple sources for possible news stories
- Develop and propose a daily news coverage plan
- Lead newsroom staff meetings to review possible stories and assignments
- Help choose which journalists, photographers, and other staff members are assigned to cover stories
- Stay on top of all stories to ensure they're developing as planned and determine which ones are not coming together
- Be the main point of communication between reporters, production teams, and executive staff on developing stories
It's up to the assignment editor to assign people to investigate and report on news stories. The assignment editor's day is sometimes spent shifting people and equipment around so that as many stories get covered as possible, with an eye out on how to handle breaking news coverage at any moment.
When working in television, an assignment editor may also work with the tv producer to decide which crews will take live trucks or a helicopter to broadcast live during a newscast. Also, a TV news anchor who is reviewing scripts just before airtime will often turn to the assignment editor to confirm facts.
An assignment editor's salary can vary depending on location, experience, and employer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers salary data for the broader editor category, but it doesn't offer separate data on the assignment editor subcategory:
- Median Annual Salary: $59,480
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $114,460
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $30,830
Education, Training, & Certification
Most assignment editors have the same types of degrees as other editors and journalists in a newsroom.
- Education: Most employers prefer candidates that have at least a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English.
- Experience: This is often key to getting this type of job, because experience is key to building a list of contacts and learning how to operate smoothly. Employers usually prefer candidates with a background in the type of media in which they specialize, whether it's television, digital, or print news.
- Training: Most training happens on the job. Aspiring assignment editors may want to find an internship position at a newsroom assignment desk.
Assignment Editor Skills & Competencies
To be successful in this role, you’ll generally need the following skills and qualities:
- Editorial judgment: Assignment editors need to be able to quickly decide whether a story is newsworthy. And although they aren't usually writing the stories themselves, they need to know all of the components of a good news story to guide reporters on coverage.
- Interpersonal skills: Successful assignment editors form relationships with many contacts that can help bring a story together. For example, someone in this role at a local TV news station may have all the county sheriffs' home telephone numbers on speed-dial and be on a first-name basis with the current and previous mayors.
- Organizational skills: An assignment editor must be able to organize the logistics and track the details of several stories at a time and keep everything on schedule.
- Communication skills: An assignment editor must skillfully communicate with all of the staff involved in making news stories come together, including reporters, photographers, production teams, and executive staff.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow 6 percent through 2026, which is slightly slower than the overall employment growth of 7 percent for all occupations in the country. The BLS it doesn't offer separate data on the assignment editor subcategory.
Most of this job is done in an office working under several tight deadlines at once. Those who thrive on pressure and get an adrenaline rush when something unexpected happens may be best suited for this occupation.
An assignment editor usually arrives in the newsroom earlier than the other managers to get a handle on what's happening that day to brief the newsroom. Most assignment editors work full time, and many work long hours, which include evenings and weekends.
People who are interested in becoming assignment editors may also consider other careers with these median salaries:
- Writers and authors: $61,820
- Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts: $40,910
- Desktop publishers: $42,350
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , 2017
How to Get the Job
Build a Contact List
Making a list of contacts is the best place to start for a budding assignment editor. That involves making personal connections with people so that you can turn to them when you need information.
Join a Professional Association
The American Media Institute offers a list of professional associations you can join. Which one you choose may depend on your specialty or medium (websites or television, for instance). This will help you build your contact list and stay up to date on the latest tools and techniques in the industry.
Search job sites that specialize in media careers, such as MediaBistro and iHire Broadcasting .
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Assignment Editor Job Description Template
The assignment editor is a crucial member of any news organization. This person is responsible for coordinating coverage, assigning stories to reporters and photographers, and ensuring that all deadlines are met. The job requires excellent organizational skills, strong communication skills, and the ability to think on your feet. If you are interested in a career in journalism or media, a career as an assignment editor might be the right fit for you. This job description template can help you learn more about what the role entails and what qualifications are required.
We are seeking an experienced Assignment Editor to join our dynamic news team. The Assignment Editor will be responsible for assigning news stories to reporters and ensuring that all news content is accurate, engaging, and timely.
- Collaborate with news team to identify stories that need coverage
- Assign stories to reporters based on their strengths and areas of expertise
- Monitor news feeds, police scanners, and social media for breaking news stories
- Create rundowns and assign time cues for live broadcasts
- Coordinate with producers and anchors to ensure accurate reporting and smooth flow of content
- Develop and maintain relationships with sources and contacts within the community
- Manage and update newsroom assignment desk systems and calendars
- Assist in writing stories, headlines, and other news content as needed
Qualifications and Skills
- Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or related field
- At least 3 years of experience working in a newsroom environment
- Strong news judgment and knowledge of current events
- Excellent communication, organizational, and multitasking skills
- Familiarity with newsroom software and systems such as ENPS or iNEWS
- Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
- Flexibility to work varied shifts including nights, weekends, and holidays
We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, as well as opportunities for growth and professional development. If you're a passionate news professional who thrives in a fast-paced environment, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity.
If you’re looking to hire an Assignment Editor, it’s important to create a well thought-out job posting that clearly outlines the role's responsibilities and requirements. This will help to attract the right candidates and make the hiring process much smoother. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to create an effective Assignment Editor job posting.
Job Title and Summary
The job title should clearly indicate the position you’re hiring for. In this case, it's an Assignment Editor. The job summary should provide an overview of the role’s main responsibilities and key objectives.
- Job title: Assignment Editor
- Job summary: We are seeking an experienced Assignment Editor to join our team. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing news assignments and ensuring news stories are accurate and delivered on time.
Responsibilities and Duties
The job responsibilities and duties section should outline the key tasks that the Assignment Editor will be expected to perform in their role.
- Assign news stories to reporters, photographers, and videographers.
- Monitor breaking news stories and dispatch crews to the scene.
- Edit news packages and write headlines.
- Ensure news stories are accurate and meet the editorial standards.
- Collaborate with producers and other editors to develop story ideas.
In this section, you should list the qualifications and skills required for the Assignment Editor position. This could include education, previous experience, and computer skills.
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related field.
- Minimum of 3 years of experience as an Assignment Editor.
- Excellent writing and editing skills.
- Strong organizational and planning skills.
- Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
In this section, you can include any additional relevant information about the role such as working hours, salary range, benefits, and how to apply.
- Working hours: Full-time, flexible schedule.
- Salary range: $XX to $XX per hour/annually.
- Benefits: Health insurance, retirement plan, paid time off.
- To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to [insert email address here].
Creating a clear and detailed Assignment Editor job posting will help you attract the right candidates for the role. Be sure to highlight the key responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required for the position to ensure that you receive applications from the most suitable candidates. By following these guidelines, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect person for the job.
Frequently Asked Questions on Creating Assignment Editor Job Posting
- What is an Assignment Editor?
An Assignment Editor is responsible for assigning news stories to journalists or reporters and coordinating with them to ensure deadlines are met.
- What are the qualifications for an Assignment Editor?
Typically, an Assignment Editor should have a bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communication. They should also have work experience in a newsroom or a similar environment to possess skills in multi-tasking, decision-making and communication.
- What are the key responsibilities of an Assignment Editor?
An Assignment Editor is responsible for assigning stories to journalists, reviewing and editing their work before publication or broadcast, monitoring news feeds to identify stories, and coordinating with the producers and reporters to meet deadlines.
- What should I include in my job posting for an Assignment Editor?
Your job posting should include the key responsibilities and required qualifications of an Assignment Editor. It should also mention the expected work hours and any additional benefits offered, like vacations, health benefits, or a 401k plan.
- What is the average salary for an Assignment Editor?
The salary for an Assignment Editor varies depending on the location of the job and the experience of the candidate. Typically, the average salary for an Assignment Editor is between $50,000 and $70,000 a year in the United States.
- How long does it take to hire an Assignment Editor?
The hiring process for an Assignment Editor may take between two to four weeks. It involves posting the job description, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and performing reference checks before making an offer.
- What are some essential skills of an Assignment Editor?
Essential skills of an Assignment Editor include excellent communication skills, decision-making abilities, multitasking, resourceful, and time management.
- Do I need to provide any training for an Assignment Editor?
It depends on the experience level of the candidate. If they are experienced, you may not need to provide additional training. On the other hand, if the candidate is new to the role, you may need to provide some training to help them understand the position and the company culture.
- How can I attract the right candidates for an Assignment Editor position?
You can attract the right candidates by posting your job description on relevant job boards, mentioning it on your company website, and social media pages. Offer competitive salaries and benefits and show opportunities for growth.
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Desk Editor Job Description
Desk editor duties & responsibilities.
To write an effective desk editor job description, begin by listing detailed duties, responsibilities and expectations. We have included desk editor job description templates that you can modify and use.
Sample responsibilities for this position include:
Desk Editor Qualifications
Qualifications for a job description may include education, certification, and experience.
Education for Desk Editor
Typically a job would require a certain level of education.
Employers hiring for the desk editor job most commonly would prefer for their future employee to have a relevant degree such as Bachelor's and Collage Degree in Journalism, Communications, Education, Associates, English, Social Media, Computer, Mass Communication, Television, Communication
Skills for Desk Editor
Desired skills for desk editor include:
Desired experience for desk editor includes:
Desk Editor Examples
- Microsoft Word (.docx) .DOCX
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- Listens to prepared stories, suggests changes that make pieces concise, coherent, comprehensive and interesting, copy edits stories and writes material as needed
- When necessary, heads team of production staff working on special projects
- Supervises assignments and provides editorial guidance to staff, station and freelance reporters and production staff
- Works with hosts, NewsDesk, digital media and other staff to determine proper approach to stories, subjects to be discussed and treated, and individuals to be interviewed
- Tracks station, freelance and staff submissions and assignments
- Ensures that speculative submissions from stations and freelancers are auditioned to determine suitability for airing
- Regularly has critical discussions about pieces with reporters and editors, and with the Executive Editor, as appropriate
- Makes hiring and salary recommendations for staff members under his or her supervision, in consultation with the Executive Editor
- Responsible for preparing performance reviews for assigned staff member
- Assists in planning and monitoring the business unit’s annual budgets and in monitoring current spending
- Strong knowledge of standard English rules pertaining to grammar and syntax
- Must be willing to work in the Ft
- Coordinates business unit staff schedules, submits and approves time sheets and maintains other personnel records as needed
- Responsible for tracking overtime and travel expenditures
- Directly supervises other editor
- External applicants must submit a resume/CV through nbcuicareers.com to be considered (Note- job #BR)
- Edit stories for air, on-demand audio and online, produced by station reporters
- You have English language studies, Mass communication / Journalism
- You have experience and/or general interest in photography and/or journalism
- You have competent working knowledge of Apple computers and Adobe Photoshop
- You are familiar with Microsoft office suite
- Arranging live video and correspondent live shots/phoners
- Booking live shots and supporting field crews covering international stories
- Booking satellite transmissions
- Working with overseas staff to coordinate major breaking news events
- Preparing the daily Foreign Rundown Editorial Meeting
- Commitment to customers through positive enthusiastic and professional customer service
- Knowledge of or the ability to learn and operate the editorial computer system
- Ability to communicate with customers, stringers and co-workers in a professional manner
- Ability to work in a well structured, high stress, competitive environment
- Problem solving, analytical abilities and interpersonal skills required
- Position requires a four-year college diploma or equivalent 4 years experience working in a newsroom
- Edit content for The Now and national desk
- Design graphics for daily content
- Use VizRT to help create graphics for a virtual environment
- Understand and utilize video sources
- Contribute to planning for news and feature coverage of Congress and the 2018 election for all platforms
- Coordinate coverage plans with shows and other desks
- Generate story ideas and review story pitches, help develop storytelling approaches and sources, and determine the best platform for news coverage, including making suggestions for interviews and establishing contacts
- Provide feedback to supervisors for performance evaluations
- Serve as an editor and manager helping to run the National Desk
- Help manage a team of journalists who cover the country and are beat specialists
- Must be willing and able to work weekends and have flexibility to work various shifts/days when needed
- Minimum of two years of photography, editing and journalism experience
- Proficiency in Mandarin essential
- Being a key, energetic and positive member of a vibrant and creative editorial team
- Good English language writing ability
- Use creative production techniques such as graphics and new forms of media (viewer pictures, webcam interviews, ) to enhance stories
- Participate in performance evaluations and play a key role in recruiting, training and mentoring
- Make sure the work is consistently accurate and fair, objective and of high quality
- Participate in newsroom planning meetings
- Oversee and manage a team of reporters in Asia, driving coverage across a range of countries, subjects, and platforms
- Develop and execute a strategy for coverage, including creating, managing, and editing a pipeline of features, enterprise and projects
- Manage and edit breaking news, setting the agenda and priorities for editors and reporters
- Build our digital presence by working closely with photo, graphics, video and multimedia to enhance our storytelling
- Collaborate with journalists across bureaus, departments and time zones to maximize the impact of our reporting
- Edit stories to Reuters’ high editorial and ethical standards, adhering to style, guidelines and policies laid out in the Reuters Operations Manual and Handbook of Journalism
- Ensure that stories have the context, milestones and actionable content
- Strong understanding of major sports, working knowledge of athletes, coaches, league operations and the like
- Extensive up-to-date knowledge of Vietnam, Southeast Asia and in particular the political trends, social and cultural developments
- Television, newspaper or radio news background with experience covering breaking news preferred
- Flexibility and available to work any shift, including weekends
- 1 to 3 years’ experience on a network or major market Assignment Desk
- Strong interest in Foreign News required
- Oversee the partnership with member stations and Kaiser Health News
- Coordinate selected member station health journalists to help create excellent local and national journalism
- Work with KHN counterpart to edit member station stories, help local reporters as needed, for example, help with voicing or thinking through what makes a great audio or web story
- Keep current with topics around health policy for current and future stories
- Plan and execute training sessions for member-station reporters in collaboration with KHN
- Knowledge and understanding of the process of journals peer review process
- An interest and awareness in academic publishing, and an up to date knowledge of market trends
- Knowledge and experience of process-driven workflows and the ability to recognize process improvement opportunities
- Establish a new workflow to serve the daily podcast
- Oversee and edit the daily podcast
- Working knowledge of satellite transmissions
- Operating in a fast paced news environment
- Good news judgment and can react quickly to breaking news on an international scale
- You are a forward thinking and daring editor
- Proficiency in InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft software required
- Knowledge of proper grammar, punctuation and spelling that follows AP style
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Assignment Desk - Editor/Writer
- United States
- Journalism / PR
Responsibilities • Support and assist the production of all elements involved in a local show. As an Assignment Editor, you will be responsible for fulfilling all content needs for our shows as requested by Producers and Managers. • Collaborate with the writing of all daily newscasts. • Assist as an assistant producer and/or produce daily newscasts. • Produce daily topicals for Radio, Social Media, and on-air. • Coordinates activities of Newsroom gathering staff; maintains contact with outside news agencies, police/fire departments (community organization) and other sources to obtain information regarding developing news items. Coordinate distribution of content between different platforms: TV, Web and Social Media. • Facilitate news gathering process; ensure comprehensive coverage of news stories. • Enterprise story ideas and work with Reporters, Producers and Web Editors to develop and cover stories. • Manage the logistics of day-to-day assignments for local field crews. • Conceptualize platform integration with Producers, Web Editors, Reporters, Photographers and other personnel in a timely and organized manner. • Conceive distribution of content between news platforms: TV/Web/Social Media. • Anticipate special news events and conceptualize plan for content integration. • Write scripts / edit tape segments as needed. • Collaborate as on-air talent if needed. • Work with News Management to effectively use available resources in managing operations and to develop standards and processes for optimal performance. Job Number 38627BR Posting Category TV Content & Production Country United States Sub-Business NBCUOTS - TLM KDEN About Us At NBCUniversal, we believe in the talent of our people. It's our passion and commitment to excellence that drives NBCU's vast portfolio of brands to succeed. From broadcast and cable networks, news and sports platforms, to film, world-renowned theme parks and a diverse suite of digital properties, we take pride in all that we do and all that we represent. It's what makes us uniquely NBCU. Here you can create the extraordinary. Join us. Telemundo Station Group, part of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, is comprised of 20 local television stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Producing and broadcasting more than 7,000 hours of unique and relevant local content each year, including award-winning news, public affairs, and entertainment programming, Telemundo Station Group serves Spanish-speaking viewers in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, San Antonio, Phoenix, Harlingen, Fresno, Denver, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Boston, Tucson, Washington, DC, Conneticut and Puerto Rico. In Addition, Telemundo Station Group operates TeleXitos, the national multicast network that offers viewers popular action and adventure television series and feature films in Spanish. The group also provides support to 53 Telemundo affiliates across the country and manages dedicated local websites and applications, as well as a robust digital out-of-home operation. State/Province Colorado Career Level Experienced Qualifications/Requirements • BA, BS or Master in Broadcasting, Journalism and/or Communications. • Minimum 2 year relevant experience on Electronic Media. • Knowledge digital platforms (web, mobile) and social media. • Ability to speak read and write fluently in English and Spanish. • Must have excellent writing/spelling skills in Spanish. • Willingness to travel, work overtime, and on weekends with short notice as necessary. • Must be willing to submit to a background investigation. • Must have unrestricted work authorization to work in the United States. • Must be able to work any shift, including weekends and holidays. • Must be willing to work at KDEN headquarters in Centennial, CO. • Must be willing to submit a background investigation. • Must be 18 years or older. • Must have unrestricted work authorization live in the United States. • Must be covered by Solutions, NBCU's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. • Interested candidates must submit a resume/CV through www.nbcunicareers.com to be considered. Desired Characteristics • Experience in leading people. • Have good interpersonal skills, be a dependable, quick thinker with an eye for detail. • Be creative with a positive attitude and a motivated team player. • Solid editorial judgment. City Centennial Notices NBCUniversal's policy is to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law. NBCUniversal will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with relevant legal requirements, including the City of Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative For Hiring Ordinance, where applicable.
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Example Assignment Editor Job Description
Our Assignment Editor job description includes the Administrative Assistant responsibilities, duties, skills, education, qualifications, and experience.
About the Assignment Editor role
An Assignment Editor is responsible for assigning stories and tasks to staff members and freelance journalists. The Assignment Editor ensures that all stories are covered accurately and on time, and that the news coverage meets the publication's standards of quality. Assignment Editors are also in charge of maintaining contacts with news sources, identifying and developing new story ideas, and monitoring news broadcasts and the Internet for breaking stories.
The purpose of an Assignment Editor is to coordinate and assign news stories and other tasks to reporters, photographers, and other personnel. They are responsible for researching and developing story ideas, identifying potential sources, and determining the best approach to cover stories. They may also vet potential sources and stories, and work with the News Director to ensure that stories are accurate and balanced. Assignment Editors are responsible for maintaining the newsroom workflow and ensuring that deadlines are met.
Assignment Editor Summary
The Assignment Editor is responsible for managing the newsroom’s daily news coverage and assigning reporters and photographers to stories. He or she will be responsible for overseeing content production and distribution and working with reporters, producers, and photographers to ensure timely and accurate coverage. The Assignment Editor will also be responsible for researching story ideas, making editorial decisions, and ensuring that all content meets high journalistic standards. He or she will also be responsible for monitoring news wires, websites, and social media for breaking news and developing story ideas. The Assignment Editor will be required to have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be able to multitask and work quickly in a fast-paced environment.
Assignment Editor Duties
- Sourcing and assigning stories/segments to reporters and contributors
- Developing story ideas and working with reporters to cover stories
- Managing the assignment desk staff
- Coordinating coverage of breaking news stories
- Planning and coordinating coverage of special events
- Monitoring and researching newsworthy developments
- Developing relationships with freelance and staff reporters
- Providing editorial guidance and feedback to reporters
Assignment Editor Skills
- Excellent communication and organizational skills
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
- Strong understanding of news writing and editing
- Ability to multitask and work on multiple projects
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
Assignment Editor Requirements
- Write and edit assigned stories
- Proofread copy for accuracy and clarity
- Oversee the work of freelancers
- Research and contact sources for story ideas
- Maintain knowledge of current affairs
- Ensure all published content meets standards of quality and accuracy
- Provide content and production support
- Excellent organizational skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to prioritize tasks
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Career Spotlight: Assignment Editor
By NBCU Academy
What does an assignment editor do? A longtime assignment manager for NBC4 Washington shares how his team covers breaking news.
At the heart of every newsroom is an assignment desk, where assignment editors figure out what news stories to cover around the clock. They make constant phone calls, listen to police radios and sift through emails to get news tips and background information from officials and the public. They contribute to editorial meetings with reporters, editors and producers. But breaking news can rewrite coverage plans at any point of the day.
Charlie Bragale, an assignment manager who has worked at WRC-TV in Washington since 1988, has seen many changes in technology , but his assignment desk has always been crucial to newsgathering. He calls his assignment editors “off-air reporters,” talking to sources and conveying updates to news crews and production staff.
“I compare the assignment editor to a flight controller. I’m trying to land five 747s, a couple of A380s and a couple 737s in a blinding rainstorm,” Bragale said. “100% of my day is talking on the phone, networking with people, trying to get people to talk to me and check in.”
Bragale talks about the work of an assignment editor in the video above and shares more remarks below.
What are some tips to being a good assignment editor?
Be curious, be a risk taker and instinctively know what you’re doing right. You see something, go chase after it. We don’t run away from bad news or good news — we run towards everything.
Success is collaborating with everybody. We’re just a cog in the wheels of what we do every day. Collaboration is key.
Your workspace is surrounded by walkie-talkies tuned in to a bunch of police and emergency medical scanners. Isn’t it confusing to listen to all that at once?
Don’t be intimidated by this. This is just white noise. Just listen for keywords, the intensity in the voice, the impact of the event.
What are some memorable stories you worked on?
I covered a guy who pulled out an AR-15 and shot up the front of the White House [in October 1994] — that was a [Saturday] afternoon, we were running AFC football.
The phone rings, a guy with a heavy accent says, “Do you speak Portuguese?” And I was like, “Yes, I’m from Brazil.” A Brazilian tourist, videotaping the White House with his family, captured the moment that guy shot at the White House. Back then, we had no cellphones, so I sent a courier to pick him up and look at the video. One of my colleagues ran over, grabbed the video and took it downstairs. They broke into AFC football to show the guy shooting the White House — that’s how important it was.
[On 9/11,] we knew about the planes that struck the World Trade Center. But then I heard a plane hit the Pentagon. I heard that officer, the chill in his voice — we knew it was [a related attack]. We were ready, directing people everywhere, because we knew Washington.
You’ve worked at the same assignment desk for 36 years. What keeps you going?
This is gonna sound mushy, but I grew up here in Washington, two blocks from the TV station. As a child riding my bike through this park, past Channel 4 to the Catholic school on Massachusetts Avenue, I would always tell my brothers, “One day, I’m going to work at that place.” To represent the community and work at this incredible organization, in my job which I love, is an honor.
Gallery: Scenes from Charlie Bragale’s Career
How journalists of color are coping after a traumatic year of reporting, career spotlight: health & medical unit producer, how tech skills can land you a newsroom job, how to report on underserved communities, take our free fundamentals of journalism course.
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Assignment Desk Job Description Example
Table of Contents
Assignment Desk is a reputable platform that connects skilled individuals with exciting job opportunities. With a user-friendly interface, it allows job seekers to browse through various assignments and apply for ones that match their expertise. Assignment Desk offers a wide range of job categories, including writing, editing, translation, graphic design, and more. Whether you are a freelancer or looking for a full-time position, Assignment Desk has something for everyone. To find your ideal assignment, check out the job description template below.
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Assignment Desk Responsibilities:
– Managing and coordinating incoming assignments and tasks
– Collaborating with news producers, reporters, and correspondents
– Researching and generating story ideas
– Assigning coverage to staff members or freelance journalists
– Ensuring that assignments are appropriately prioritized and deadlines are met
– Monitoring news wires, social media, and other sources for developing stories
– Conducting background research and fact-checking information
– Coordinating logistics for field reporting, including travel arrangements and equipment needs
– Maintaining communication with news crews in the field and providing support as needed
– Producing and editing news scripts or segments for on-air presentation
– Coordinating live interviews or press conferences
– Managing and updating assignment schedules and calendars
– Communicating with other departments, such as production or graphics, to ensure smooth execution of assignments
– Tracking and logging coverage and maintaining an organized archive of news materials
– Staying informed about current events, trends, and industry developments
Assignment Desk Requirements:
The specific requirements for assignment desk jobs can vary depending on the industry and company, but some common requirements for this role include:
1. Education: A minimum of a high school diploma or GED is typically required. Some employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related field.
2. Experience: Previous experience in a newsroom or media environment is often desired. This can include internships, entry-level positions, or freelance work. Familiarity with the operation of news production technologies and software may also be required.
3. Organizational skills: Strong organizational and multitasking abilities are essential for assignment desk jobs. This includes the ability to prioritize tasks, maintain a schedule, and handle multiple deadlines simultaneously.
4. Communication skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills are crucial. Assignment desk professionals need to effectively interact with reporters, news producers, assignment editors, and other team members to gather information, assign stories, and coordinate coverage plans.
5. News knowledge: Candidates should have a good understanding of current events and news topics, as well as knowledge of local, national, and international news sources. Familiarity with social media platforms and trends can also be beneficial.
6. Problem-solving skills: The ability to think critically, make decisions quickly, and solve problems effectively is important for handling breaking news situations and unexpected changes in assignments.
7. Attention to detail: Strong attention to detail is necessary to ensure accuracy in news scripts, assignment instructions, and information provided to news teams. This includes verifying facts, spelling, grammar, and proper formatting.
8. Adaptability and stress management: Assignment desks can be fast-paced and high-pressure environments, especially during breaking news situations. Being able to handle stress, work under tight deadlines, and adapt to changes in priorities is crucial.
9. Computer literacy: Proficiency in using computers, including standard office software (such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook) and newsroom-specific software (such as news production systems and content management systems), is often required.
Please note that these requirements are general guidelines and can vary depending on the specific job posting and company. It’s always a good idea to review the job description and qualifications provided by the employer for the most accurate and up-to-date requirements.
Salary expectations for Assignment Desk
The salary expectations for Assignment Desk jobs can vary depending on various factors such as the location, industry, company size, and the candidate’s experience and qualifications. However, a general range for Assignment Desk jobs can be between $30,000 and $60,000 per year, with the average salary falling around $45,000. It is important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary significantly based on individual circumstances.
Job Description 1: Assignment Desk Editor
Position: Assignment Desk Editor
Location: [Company Name], [Location]
Reports to: News Director
We are seeking an experienced Assignment Desk Editor to join our dynamic news team. The Assignment Desk Editor will be responsible for researching, planning, and coordinating the coverage of news stories for our news department. The ideal candidate must have exceptional organizational and communication skills, as well as the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
1. Monitor news wires, social media, and other sources to identify and assign news stories to field reporters and photographers.
2. Organize and maintain a news story database, including contacts and resources for future stories.
3. Coordinate with producers, reporters, and photographers to develop story ideas and assign coverage.
4. Collaborate with newsroom staff to ensure accurate and comprehensive news coverage.
5. Research and gather background information to assist reporters in creating compelling news stories.
6. Monitor and update breaking news stories, ensuring timely and accurate coverage.
7. Prioritize news assignments to ensure the timely production of news stories to meet deadlines.
8. Coordinate with other news departments to share information and resources across platforms.
9. Assist in making editorial decisions in collaboration with the News Director.
10. Stay informed about current events and trends to identify potential news stories.
1. Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications, or a related field.
2. Previous experience in an Assignment Desk role.
3. Strong knowledge of current events, news-gathering techniques, and newsroom operations.
4. Proficient in using newsroom software, content management systems, and social media platforms.
5. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
6. Ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
7. Strong organizational and multitasking abilities.
8. Flexibility to work evenings, weekends, and holidays as required.
Job Description 2: Assignment Desk Assistant
Position: Assignment Desk Assistant
Reports to: Assignment Desk Editor
We are seeking a detail-oriented and highly organized Assignment Desk Assistant to support our news department. The Assignment Desk Assistant will be responsible for performing administrative tasks, coordinating news coverage, and assisting the Assignment Desk Editor in research and planning. The ideal candidate must have excellent communication skills, a passion for news, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
1. Monitor news wires, social media, and other sources to identify potential news stories.
2. Assist in coordinating coverage by assigning reporters and photographers to specific news stories.
3. Maintain and update the news story database, including contacts and resources.
4. Research and gather background information on potential news stories.
5. Assist in making editorial decisions in collaboration with the Assignment Desk Editor.
6. Coordinate with other news departments to share information and resources.
7. Assist with updating the newsroom’s online platforms, including the website and social media accounts.
8. Monitor and update breaking news stories, ensuring timely and accurate coverage.
9. Assist in prioritizing news assignments to meet deadlines.
10. Perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, managing calendars, and organizing files.
1. High school diploma or equivalent. Bachelor’s degree in Journalism or Communications is preferred.
2. Previous experience in a newsroom or related field is a plus.
4. Proficient in using Microsoft Office suite and internet research.
6. Ability to work well in a fast-paced team environment.
7. Strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
In conclusion, the assignment desk job description is crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of news organizations. It requires strong organizational skills, excellent communication abilities, and a keen eye for details. By effectively managing assignments and coordinating with reporters and photographers, the assignment desk plays a pivotal role in delivering accurate and timely news to the public.
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Desk Editor overview
What is a desk editor.
A desk editor is a professional who manages the editing of news content for a publication or website. They are responsible for finding new leads and potential stories, monitoring mediums like the internet and police scanners, communicating with tipsters, coordinating with police officers and witnesses, and conducting interviews. They also manage teams of writers, set schedules, and oversee weekend news coverage. They use their language, writing, and detail-oriented skills to produce quality materials in a timely and efficient manner, adhering to the station's policies and regulations. They also manage tasks such as generating story ideas and assignments, providing editorial oversight, and editing and proofreading news pages. They use content management systems and SEO metadata to provide quality finished video products to customers. They also monitor wire services, police scanners, newsroom telephones, and internet sources to find new leads and potential stories. They also manage Twitter presence, including writing and scheduling sponsored Tweets and interacting with the community. They also use their skills in copy editing, managing teams, and conducting daily reporting and editing of international news.
What does a desk editor do?
In journalism, a desk editor is in charge of performing extensive research to find new leads and potential stories for news outlets. Among their responsibilities include monitoring mediums such as the internet and police scanners, communicating with tipsters through calls and correspondence, coordinating with police officers and witnesses, and conducting interviews when necessary. Furthermore, as a desk editor, it is essential to be proactive and alert in order to produce quality materials in a timely and efficient manner, all while adhering to the station's policies and regulations.
- Salary $53,061
- Growth Rate -5%
- Jobs Number 29,023
- Most Common Skill Assignment Desk
- Most Common Degree Bachelor's degree
- Best State New York
On this page
Desk editor career paths.
In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of editor you might progress to a role such as owner eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title director of marketing and public relations.
- Desk Editor
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
Avg Salary $86,626
Avg Salary $52,107
Avg Salary $90,334
Avg Salary $114,906
Director Of Public Affairs
Avg Salary $114,639
Avg Salary $107,700
Manager Of Corporate Communications
Avg Salary $84,161
Public Relations Manager
Avg Salary $91,426
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
Avg Salary $156,841
- Managing Editor
Avg Salary $89,060
Avg Salary $91,578
Director, Corporate Communications
Avg Salary $104,820
Avg Salary $81,304
Average desk editor salary
What Am I Worth?
Desk Editor skills and job requirements
The most common skills required to be a desk editor are assignment desk, news stories, and facebook.
Desk Editor skills
- Assignment Desk
- News Stories
- News Coverage
- Phone Calls
Desk Editor requirements
- Excellent command of written and spoken English
- Proven experience as a desk editor or similar role
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related field
- Proficient in Microsoft Office and content management systems (CMS)
Desk Editor responsibilities
The role of a desk editor includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry. Here are some general desk editor responsibilities.
- Manage and create newsletter archives for NASA: http: //www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/home/index.html
- Assign and coordinate the distribution of newsgathering equipment.
- Provide research and fact checking services to assist platform producers with newsgathering.
- Compose sales- and customer-facing technical documentation, PowerPoint presentations, and training guides to enhance user experience and knowledge.
Desk Editor education
If you're interested in becoming a desk editor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 82.1% of desk editors have a bachelor's degree.
We found that 8.3% of desk editors have master's degrees. Even though most desk editors have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
The most common majors for desk editors are journalism, communication, and english.
Desk Editor majors
Desk editor degrees.
How do desk editors rate their job?
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What do Local TV Journalists Do? Behind the Scenes of a Newsroom
By Gretchen Andsager
In the world of digital PR , our work closely aligns with the journalism industry. Our job is to reach out to members of the media, often daily, to get news coverage for our campaigns and clients. Solid pitch and subject lines can make a world of difference when link building, but there’s also something else to factor in when trying to connect with a journalist: their daily schedule.
What do journalists do daily? We all know what time the newscasts go on air, but do you know what happens before, during, and after it cuts to commercials? Sure, we’ve all seen movies and TV shows attempting to depict a day in the life of a journalist. I’m looking at you Firefly Lane , The Morning Show , and The Newsroom … and the list goes on and on.
We all know that movies and shows rarely show what these jobs are actually like. But there’s good news: I spent seven years in the local broadcast news industry working everywhere from Indianapolis to Chicago as a TV news producer before making the leap into digital PR. I’m not the only one! Our entire digital PR team comes with previous journalism experience and it definitely benefits the work we do!
Let my career path be your benefit: I’m going to pull back the curtain and give you a glimpse into what local journalists do and share some tips about how to contact a journalist… including the best times to pitch and connect with these hard media workers.
Who Makes Up a Local TV Newsroom?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty details, it’s essential to first understand what positions actually make up a local TV newsroom. News stations are filled with various positions, including many that have no relationship or connection to those who pick and choose what stories are covered. This is why it’s important to reach out to the right people when pitching .
The head of a local television station is the general manager . This person runs the entire TV station, including the sales side, and while they have some involvement in the news and how it’s presented, their position is more high-level rather than taking part in the day-to-day story creation process.
In the hierarchy of TV news, there are two major departments: the news department and the sales department (the general manager oversees both departments). While the departments do see some crossover in situations such as sponsored segments or events, the sales department is not usually involved with the news department.
To ensure ethical media coverage, sales departments normally have little-to-no contact with journalists. In most of my past stations, these employees worked on entirely separate floors. The news team barely met sales: every once in a while, we’d meet a sales employee on an elevator or in a break room and it was like meeting a stranger. Despite working in the same company, there was no working together .
The head of the news department is called the news director. This person is the boss of the entire newsroom. News directors each have different styles in how they run their newsrooms. I’ve worked with some who I talked with a grand total of about two times: when I was initially hired and the day I put in my notice to leave. On the opposite end, I’ve worked with news directors who would go through my newscast daily and ran nearly every editorial meeting the station held.
News directors are the person to reach out to if you’re looking for a job in the newsroom, but not necessarily the person to pitch for daily media coverage. Similar to the general manager, the news director position is generally more high level taking on responsibilities such as hiring and analyzing newscast rating performances over time, versus involvement in the daily grind.
So, who within the news department is the best target for media outreach? While you mainly see anchors and reporters on the TV screen, there are also all sorts of people behind the scenes making sure everything goes smoothly including producers, video editors, engineers, and more. For digital PR purposes, it can be hard to connect with the right people when pitching your work and that could lead to no coverage– which no one wants! Below are the five primary positions worth pitching:
- Assignment Desk Editors
- Web Producers
Local TV News Shifts
First caveat: even though people may work in the same position at a TV station, it’s vital you know what schedule they work.
For example, say there are two people who are assignment desk editors. Although they each perform the same role, one may work overnights Monday through Friday, while the other works the evening shift Wednesday through Sunday.
Why does this matter? As we in the Digital PR world continue to focus on more targeted and thoughtful pitches, in place of mass blasting hundreds of journalists, this information can help you reach out to the journalist at the optimal time for them to read your email.
While you’re building media lists, try and determine which shift your contacts work and pitch accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself pitching the journalist when they’re logging off at the very end of their shift or even when they’re asleep!
The daily schedule of journalists falls primarily into three shifts: morning, daytime, and nighttime.
The “morning” shift is more like the graveyard shift. It can range anywhere from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. CST (for positions such as producers and assignment desk editors) to 2 a.m. – 10 a.m. CST (for positions such as anchors and reporters). However, these times are estimates and vary depending on the newscast (more for producers than any other position). When I worked overnights, there were some days I’d come in at 8 p.m. while producing the 4 a.m. newscast. But on days I put together the 9 a.m. show I wouldn’t come into the newsroom until 1 a.m.
The daytime shift, also known as “dayside,” is more of the normal 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. shift. This is compared to the nighttime shift, also known as “nightside,” which is usually a schedule that runs 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. CST. All these schedules can vary, depending on the station’s location, the station itself, and staffing.
Depending on the TV station and broadcast market size (DMA), some stations are fully staffed 24/7, while others may have some hours where no one is on the clock. But with recent cost-cutting measures, and skeletal staffing situations in local news, many news stations now have limited staff (or are understaffed) during the overnight and weekend hours.
The Unpredictable Schedule of TV Journalists
You may have heard the phrase that the news never sleeps. Never has it been more true than in a television newsroom. There is no mundane, typical day in a journalist’s life because you can never predict what the news of the day may bring. Some work days are chaotic from the moment you walk through the door, until the moment you leave. On other days, especially holidays such as President’s Day or Labor Day, it’s so quiet it’s hard to find newsworthy content to fill an entire newscast.
Although work schedules can be unpredictable, most stations do have a daily meeting at the start of each shift. This editorial meeting is when staff, mainly reporters, pitch stories that they would like to try and cover for the day. If you are hoping to newsjack something in the news cycle, you should schedule your pitches before the daily pitch meeting. Once these meetings are complete and stories are assigned, people hit the ground running and many don’t focus on anything aside from that story. So, here’s who and what to keep in mind while pitching to TV journalists.
Assignment Desk Editor Job Description
Assignment desk editors can be your first hurdle to getting news coverage. Think of these workers as the organizers of TV news stations.
Assignment desk editors comb through daily press releases, answer station phone calls and emails, act as the central hub of communication among newsroom members and often decide what stories are worth pursuing for the day.
In addition, some assignment editors assist in coordinating interviews, directing reporters, and choosing live shot locations. When you send a pitch to a station’s generic email, it will most likely end up in the inbox of assignment editors (though it’s important to note that in smaller stations it may go to all news department staff). It’s up to these journalists to go through the press releases and see if there is anything worth covering. If there is, they’ll pass it along to reporters, producers, and anchors, but if they don’t think it’s worthy of coverage that might be the end of the press release’s journey.
If your press release is forwarded to other newsroom staff, that doesn’t necessarily mean it makes it into the newscast and gets coverage. Instead, it has to be read once in the next inbox it most likely goes to: a TV producer.
What Does a TV Producer Do?
TV producers are like the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. Producers do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work to make a newscast come together. They have the power to pick most of the stories that are run in the newscast (and in which order stories run), do the majority of the script writing, and then monitor the show’s time and cue talent.
While producers could be ideal for getting news coverage, they’re also balancing a lot of work every day. TV producers are inundated with emails, texts, and phone calls while trying to put together an hour’s worth of news coverage with limited to no help. Even in bigger markets, some producers don’t have any writers to assist with this process, so there’s little time to glance at emails or calls unless it’s from one of their reporters or photographers.
As a former producer, I’ll admit, the days are often very long with very little downtime. While I would sometimes run pieces on air that I was emailed, I wouldn’t necessarily link back to them at the end of the day: I was simply too busy. Producers end their day after their newscast ends once they’ve sent a final show report. At that time in the day, the last thing I’d think about doing is posting a web article. By the time I came in the next day, I was already onto the next show. Stories covered 24 hours ago are often considered “old news” and no longer of interest to viewers.
Therefore, when pitching a story to a TV producer, keep in mind you may be more likely to get an unlinked mention on air than a link. Obviously, digital PR is all about the links, but good brand visibility is still a plus!
The Difference Between a TV Producer and a Web Producer
While TV producers put together the newscasts, TV web producers are the newsroom employees who keep the website up to date. Managing to attract the attention of a TV web producer is like uncovering a Golden Ticket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory . These producers are ideal as contacts since posting an article with a link is part of their job. The web producers post stories throughout the day while updating the station’s social media, sending out push notifications, and helping to stream live press conferences and newscasts.
Another caveat: Not every station has full-time web producers. In many small market TV stations, some producers or assignment desk editors may work dual roles. As many TV stations consolidate positions and do more with less, web producers are often lumped into other jobs. More often than not, reporters are the ones posting their own stories on the website daily, not web producers.
TV News Reporter Job Description
So, what do TV reporters do? In movies and TV shows, you’ve probably seen them running around town with a photographer trying to get interviews and doing live reports. Is that realistic? Kind of.
In larger DMA markets, many reporters have photographers to film interviews, shoot video, and lead their live shots. However, in many (if not most) markets, it is now common to have multimedia journalists (MMJs). The title is a fancy way of saying that the reporter is doing two, possibly three jobs at once.
These reporters write, shoot, edit, and post their stories essentially doing the roles of a reporter, a photographer, and a web producer. This is important to recognize and keep in mind for us in the digital PR world because MMJs work at a different pace than we do. They are constantly on the move, and barely have time for a bathroom break or snack, let alone to comb through email pitches.
Even if TV news reporters have a photographer, they’re under constant pressure to meet daily deadlines. These reporters may have multiple stories assigned to them throughout the day. Generally, if they don’t have any audio or video, the piece doesn’t work as a story for television. They don’t often have the luxury to wait an hour or two for someone to respond about interview availability. When most TV journalists reach out about a story, they need answers immediately.
That’s why I’d recommend pitching reporters at the start or end of their shifts unless you’re trying to newsjack a piece. After daily stories are assigned, reporters and MMJs don’t have the time to check their emails unless a story has fallen through. They’re racing against the clock and your email could just end up lost in the shuffle.
TV News Anchors: Should You Pitch Them or Not?
When you think of TV news the first position you probably think of is an anchor. Anchors are the faces of the news stations, the “talking heads” you see sitting behind a desk reading through the day’s headlines.
Anchors are the most well-known newsroom personalities, even more so than reporters. So, shouldn’t they be your key contact when emailing your pitches? In my opinion, not really. While each anchor has a different style and involvement in their newscasts, they are not as fundamentally involved in the content process as you may think.
During my days in TV news, I had some anchors who would pass along story ideas my way, but it wasn’t a daily occurrence. Anchors act as one of the final checks of the newscast before going live. Think of them as the teacher checking your final paper after you’ve gone through drafts and drafts.
After scripts are written and read by the producer, executive producer (a managing producer), and maybe even a news director, then anchors step into the picture. Anchors often tweak scripts to match their speaking style or make minor edits rather than writing or pitching brand-new stories.
While it can’t hurt to pitch anchors, I definitely wouldn’t rely on them to get coverage.
Ready. Set. Pitch.
So, when is the best time to pitch a TV newsroom, and who should you target? Not to pull a fast one on you, but there’s no secret one-size-fits-all approach for this! Instead, my best recommendation is to pitch carefully and thoughtfully. Keep in mind each person’s role in a newsroom and pitch accordingly. TV journalists have a different day-to-day work schedule than those in other media roles.
Because of the nature of TV news, the daily schedule for journalists is intense. Each day journalists have just hours to meet their deadlines. With that being said, it’s vital to be responsive if a TV journalist is interested in covering something of yours. Do not take a long time to respond. We recommend having quotes and interview subjects ready to go because journalists may have to move on if they don’t get a response quickly. Often journalists may be reaching out to more than one expert just to see who is available, so you’re not only racing against the clock, but you may be racing against your competitors too.