A wall of fame, banks of TV screens and a bright red half-sized double decker bus add to the buzz of The Sun newsroom…
Print and online reporters, as well as subs, share a spectacular view of the London skyline just a stone’s throw from the Shard – and their energy is palpable. Reporters attend ‘ideas’ meetings, make podcasts, source images, shoot video, sort clothes for fashion features, feed greedy social media platforms, verify, fact check and never lose sight of the end goal – a front page exclusive or breaking an online story first.
According to Matthew Bell, The Sun on Sunday News Editor, and Keith Poole, digital editor of The Sun online, good old fashioned journalistic qualities are still in demand, not least proficient shorthand and a thorough grasp of media law.
They still hire journalists who have proven themselves on local newspapers or grafted at news agencies. But today, reporters also need to be proficient users of online content management systems like WordPress, know how to build stories, self-publish, interpret analytics, use SEO and embrace new technology such as pre-trending tools like DataMiner. Analytics data shows which online stories are successful in real time, meaning print and online editors liaise regularly over trending topics.
Increasingly online reporters go out to cover stories, as Keith Poole points out, no one goes into journalism to be desk-bound. Good to know. It means basic skills taught at Brighton Journalist Works such as covering a patch, cultivating contacts, working quickly and meeting deadlines will stand trainees in good stead. And those hours spent discussing ethics won’t be wasted either. Reporters at The Sun regularly have to complete short tests on the IPSO code to keep up to date. Good to hear.