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Communications Toolkit--Telling Your Weed & Seed Story Office of Justice Programs Seal Community Capacity Development Office Office of Justice Programs
Get Your Message Out
Work With the Media—Roles of Media Professionals

Knowing the appropriate person to contact at each media outlet can make the difference between getting coverage and missing the boat. When you're compiling your media list, be sure to include these key personnel and others who might be unique to your hometown. It's never overkill to send your materials to more than one appropriate person at the same media outlet. What is overlooked by one might catch the eye of another.

Find out who to contact at—

Television and Radio Stations

 Assignment Editor. Assigns reporters and videographers to cover events and stories. This position is found most often at television stations, but some large radio stations also have assignment editors. Send these editors information about all upcoming events.

Producer (news and program). Plans news or information programs and brings together all live, recorded, and graphic elements of a story or program.

News Director. Makes decisions about coverage and presentation. In radio and smaller television markets, news directors often also report and produce.

Reporter. Covers news stories, usually on camera or tape, from the scene or the newsroom. Reporters develop sources, conduct interviews, and often cover specific "beats" such as city hall or crime.

Anchor. Primarily appears as the on-air newsperson. Occasionally serves as a program's managing editor or producer and reports from the scene.

Photographer. Also known as videographer, photojournalist, or cameraperson, operates the cameras that film the stories. In smaller markets, the photographer also might do reporting.

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Newspapers

Editor. Handles various functions. In large newspapers, each section—such as business, entertainment, and news—has a specific editor to make decisions about stories to be covered.

Executive Editor. Gives the final say about which stories will be published and how they will be covered.

Assignment Editor. Determines which reporters will cover a given story.

Metro or City Editor. Oversees the metro or city desk and plans the paper's coverage of news throughout the region.

Photo Editor. Directs, manages, and assigns photographers and selects images for use throughout the paper.

Reporter. Develops and writes stories. Also finds and maintains contacts for information and has a good sense of what readers need and want to know.

General Assignment Reporter. Covers all types of stories as assigned.

Beat Reporter. Covers one specific area such as government, health, or the police department.

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Other Media Outlets

Public Service Director. Oversees the outlet's public service advertising and assists nonprofit organizations with announcements and production.

Calendar Editor. Coordinates announcements of special events and meetings. You can send the calendar editor short descriptions of your upcoming events.

Advertising or Sales Department. Develops a schedule and budget for paid advertising. If you purchase advertising time or space, you'll deal with the station's or paper's advertising sales department.

Webmaster and Online Editor. At appropriate Web sites, send these individuals information for additional exposure.

Daybook Editor. At the Associated Press wire service, this editor notifies subscribers of upcoming events in a particular city or region.

PR Newswire. This commercial wire service will distribute your releases and announcements for a fee.

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