Here's a quick guide to understanding the different roles and job titles people working in the media have so you know who to go to when it comes to pitching stories or building those all-important media relationships.
An Editor-in-Chief oversees the different sections of the publication and control all of the content that is published. They manage the editors and other higher-ranking members within the outlet.
As they don't have much to do with the day to day business of the publication, it's usually better to get in touch with a reporter, writer, or editor.
While an editor is responsible for the actual editorial direction and accuracy of pieces written by journalists, they can also be a journalist themselves meaning they would write and contribute to the title. They will often be tasked with assigning staff members and would be a good contact to have.
This is a more general title and you'll often find sub-categories of the term journalist such as reporters, producers, photographers, on-camera personalities, and correspondents can all be considered journalists.
It would be more common to consider an on-camera media journalist as a reporter, but they can also produce written and audio content (such as on radio broadcasts). Although all reporters can be considered journalists, not all journalists are reporters. A reporter would usually go to a scene and provide live or 'as-live' reports.
Correspondents are usually found out in the field - in a specific geographic region. These would usually be the reporters that are assigned to long-running global situations such as wars or political coups. They are often assigned to accompany the military or NGOs (Nongovernmental organization).
Similar to a reporter, a staff writer covers the news, but they are more likely to be found in the office. Staff writers are also full-time employees, unlike contributing writers.
Although not full-time employees, contributors produce content on a commission basis for outlets. They are usually specialists in their field and would tend to write long-form so it's worth getting to know the ones who work specifically to your area of comms. They should definitely be included as part of your stakeholders.
A producer will manage the production of a video, audio clip, TV segment, documentary, film, and more. They are also responsible for managing the team on a news show and it's really beneficial to make friends with the producer in addition to the reporters.
An anchor presents the news either on television or over the radio from a broadcast station. They are unlikely to be the first point of contact for pitching a story although they may suggest story ideas to their producer.
An on-air personality is a member of the media that is recognized for their opinion pieces on their industry’s trending topics. Their opinions are often used during high profile ongoing incidents or breaking news, particularly in law enforcement issues.
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