Lecture and Activity: Establishing a Digital First Workflow

 What is Digital First? (Power Point)

Here is a standard workflow for how a student reporter might cover a football game for a weekly university newspaper. The result is a 750-word print article with two photos. It is also posted online and linked to via social media.

Friday – Pre-game
-Reporter does pre-game research on team and opponent.

Saturday, Game day
-Reporter goes to game at 7 pm. Gathers stats, info on big plays, interviews coach and a few players.
-Reporter sends out a tweet with score.
-Photographer goes to game and takes photos.

Sunday – Day after game
-Reporter writes up 750-word story. Emails it to editor.
-Photographer emails photos to editor.

Monday and Tuesday – Two days after the game
-Editor responds to story. Has reporter add a few details, get an additional quote.
-Reporter rewrites story and returns it to editor.

Wednesday – Three days after the game
-Story is copy edited.
-Laid out for print publication. Headlines and photos are added.
-Final copyediting.
-Newspaper goes to printer at night.

Thursday – Print edition delivered
-Story is posted online on newspaper website.
-Link to online article is posted on Twitter and Facebook.
-Print publication comes out.

Question for group: What are the problems with this workflow and content?

Get together with a partner and rework the workflow for this story. Answer the following:

  1. Who is the audience for this football story?
  2. How do you reach this audience? Where do they gather (in person and online)?
  3. List the kind of information/content/forms of media you think students want on this game?
  4. For each of the items above in question 3: When do students want this information? (i.e., day before, day of game, day after, etc?)
  5. For each of the items listed above in question 3: What is the best way to get this information to them (i.e., Twitter, posted on a website, in print, etc?)

Now come up with a digital-first workflow for covering the story.




Come back together as a group. Discuss your ideas. Create a new workflow for a student reporter and the paper.

About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine, Slate.com, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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