Under general supervision, News Assistants are responsible for a variety of clerical tasks across all platforms.
Management will inform News Assistants which job function(s) listed herein are their primary responsibility(ies). Management will provide all necessary training for any employee assigned to job function(s) for which he or she does not have the necessary skills or abilities.
For the purposes of annual reviews, and discipline based on performance, News Assistants will be evaluated on their performance of the primary responsibility(ies) of the assignment.
While reporting and rewriting shall not be a general requirement of the work of a News Assistant, any employee so classified may be required to perform such work in limited amounts for no additional compensation. The amount of reporting and rewriting a News Assistant is permitted to perform without additional compensation shall result in the publication of no more than 1500 words in any given month, absent a bona fide news emergency. The duties of the news assistant will include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Moderate comments, produce corrections that were written by an editor and post material in print, on the Web or any other platforms, in a manner that is consistent with Times style and sensibilities;
- Gather, prepare and archive content, including, but not limited to, a wide variety of tables, listings, captions, summaries, photos, graphics and other content elements accurately and rapidly, repackaging, reformatting and appending assigned content as needed for immediate publication in any and all media;
- For publication in listings, review and confirm background facts for events submitted to The Times, seek out appropriate upcoming events, select events and edit content for space requirements;
- Become thoroughly versed in exact requirements of information handled, both as to content and style or composition; be thoroughly familiar with the sources from which material is received or obtained; receive the material, or take the initiative to find and obtain it as required;
- Determine accuracy of data, correcting apparent errors as needed and calling attention to news developments the material may disclose;
- Write and/or reword caption information attached to incoming pictures or other material submitted by photographers so that editors can write captions for publication;
- Research and draft short-form wedding announcements for the Society Desk, by collecting, reviewing and confirming all necessary background facts of the individuals whose wedding announcements will be published and drafting the announcements, based on established written formats, for publication;
- Prepare color and B&W editorial images for publication, including adjusting sharpness and tonal range of images: Review images to provide proper caption material and credits; download and file images; search archives and Web sites for material; perform frame grabs; assist editors and photographers in compiling and preparing photographs, audio and video. May be assigned to shoot simple photographs, including food and small product photos, and headshots for passports or internal publications. Ensure that all technical needs and questions of photographers and editors are met. Provide photographers with assignment ID numbers.
In addition, news assistants may be called upon to help ensure the smooth administrative operation of the assigned desk by performing a variety of tasks under the supervision of desk editors and/or the administrative manager, including:
- Screening mail, telephone calls and other incoming information for the department;
- Arranging appointments as needed and reminding editors of appointments and other unfinished business;
- Helping to maintain varied departmental files and personnel and other office records including work and vacation schedules, timebanks, whereabouts lists and payroll records;
- Assisting editors and administrative manager with processing of freelance and staff payments;
- Learning and utilizing evolving administrative tools and working with editors and administrative manager to help create and apply news administration policies on the assigned desk;
- Arranging equipment repairs as directed; assisting others in maintaining equipment inventory in support of staff; ensure all supplies are fully stocked and new requests are filled in a timely manner.
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