Take a step back from visuals for a minute and transport yourself to the rest of the newsroom. Jessica Yu, Global Head of Visuals and Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal, talked about the importance of understanding and working with the entire newsroom staff. “Teamwork, that’s the key,” said Yu. That’s how they’ve produced some of their most successful visuals.
Yu said that communication and defining a clear goal are critical for teamwork. The Wall Street Journal does this by breaking up departments, giving people a beat and having them sit with their core coverage area. “We find that it’s really good for breaking news,” said Yu.
Here is what you need to know about your newsroom:
1. What is the role of your editor-in-chief?
This is the person guiding the ship and giving you a mission.
2. Who are you?
Sure you could take a buzz feed article, but essentially “figure out who your audience, who you are and tailor to them,” said Yu.
3. Who are the editors and reporters?
“We like to think of it as an orchestra performing symphonies,” said Yu. Everyone has their own talents that add to the final product.
4. Who are your homepage managers?
The newsroom is cranking out content, now you need to let people see it. Yu said to figure out your traffic patterns, and remember that not everyone goes to your homepage.
5. How does audience outreach work, and how can you help?
With people going from one article to the next, circulation and distribution is no longer the role of the paperboy. “Every article, every graphic, every video needs to be promoted as their own piece,” said Yu.
6. What the heck is SEO?
“The internet allows good work to shine forever,” said Yu. “Visuals can make sure your needle in the haystack is humongous.”
7. What’s happening on the business side of your organization?
These are the people that bring in the money and pay your salary. Yu suggests sitting down with your advertising team to figure out your business model, so you can contribute.
8. Why is HR important?
HR is trying to get the right people in and keep them happy. “In our multimedia age we need teams with different talents,” said Yu.
“The story possibilities are unlimited, but your time isn’t,” said Yu. Today more than ever, understanding what’s happening outside of your own silo benefits the entire team.