Like most newspapers, The Daily relies on a wire service that
delivers state, national and world news over a teletype machine hooked
to a phone line that processes data at 110 or 300 baud. Jim Benson looks over the day's wire news to determine if anything on the wire is important enough
to displace LOLcats in the day's news budget.
As a first step in producing The Daily, an editor (Gail Rhea) makes
up an assignment sheet.
A marvel of mechanical engineering, this gadget is a true EPA Energy
Star: it uses no electricity whatever. A skilled journalist
can write a story at a rate of perhaps 60 words per minute.
Its only downside is that none of the original keystrokes can be preserved: someone has to retype the story again when transferring it to the iPad app, inevitably introducing
new typographic errors in the process.
The editor gives an assignment to a reporter (Susan Truberg), specifying the
scope and length of the story.
The reporter then makes arrangements for interviews or actually conducts
interviews using a telephone, using a network run by AT&T.
Sometimes a reporter uses an ultra-compact portable tape recorder to
tape an interview and then checks the tape to assure accurate quotes.
Here Ray Estrada double-checks his notes.
Once the story has been written, the reporter, in this case Jeannette Montgomery, prepares the initial draft for editing...
...and takes the first edit pass with a pencil.
||Once the reporter turns in the story, the assigning editor looks it
over to be sure it covers all of the desired angles and is of a suitable
length to fit into two iPad pages in The Daily's app.
A page editor then adds the story to a dummy of the page, estimating
its length according to a traditional and usually reliable formula!
Next, the "slotman," Lynn O'Dell, working at the traditional U-shaped copy
desk, either assigns a copy reader to go over the story or does it herself.
A good copy desk is a crucial part of the editorial quality control
process at any newspaper, and The Daily is no exception.
Meanwhile, photo editor Michael Salas picks up his assignments...
...and goes out to shoot pictures with a Nikon DSLR.
The photographer gets names and other information from everyone visible
in his photos, of course.
Back in the office, cartoonist Tom Haygood completes his work.
Next: The Daily's production facility turns out iPad app-ready pages.