This is necessary to enable them to contact the right department and the right person for a particular work.
For instance, the publicist should know that for the coverage of local functions, he has to request the chief reporter.
But where the news about the organisation and its activities, etc. is to be disseminated on national scale, he has to contact the special correspondent dealing with his subject-field. The local reporter or the chief reporter will not be helpful in this case.
The organisational set-up varies from newspaper to newspaper depending on the size of the newspaper and the different services catered for the readers. In general, most of the newspapers have three main departments—editorial, business and mechanical.
2. Editorial Wing:
The editorial department is the heart of a newspaper. It deals with news, features, comments, columns, and editorials.
At the head of the department is the editor or editor-in-chief. Assistant editors, special representatives, correspondents, and reporters whose various functions are to gather news, prepare features and articles and write editorials and comments work under his supervision.
The editor is assisted by the city editor, or chief reporter who has a team of reporters to cover local events.
In some newspapers, there are separate desks for national and foreign news, which are fed by news agencies and also by the own correspondents of the newspaper. The editor is also assisted by critics in special fields such as theatre, music, film, politics etc.
Leading newspapers have special correspondents covering different subjects. They generally cover news of national importance.
There may be separate departments for feature, sports, finance, society, science, and agriculture manned by assistant editors.
For Sunday or Magazine edition, there is generally a separate magazine editor. The photo editor provides photo coverage with the help of staff photographers. The editor is also assisted by leader writers, columnists, cartoonists, subeditors, reference librarians, etc.
One important desk, namely, the copy desk and its functionary head, i.e., the copy editor or the copy writer, whose name never appears in the newspaper, is the backbone of the newspaper.
He edits the copy, writes headlines and in the final analysis ensures the newspaper’s reputation for accuracy and attractiveness.
He is virtually the last man between the newspaper and the public. It is his job to see that the copy, whether it is news, feature or article or editorial, is free from mistakes of word usage, spellings, punctuation, grammar, etc.
The editor of a small newspaper combines in himself almost all the functions, i.e., gathering, editing and printing of news. He is not only the managing editor but his own reporter—collecting and writing local news.
He is the copy editor, headline and editorial writer. In some cases, he is also compositor, printer, pressman and distributor. He also solicits advertisements and looks after the business side of the newspaper.
3. Business Department:
The second important department in a newspaper is the business department, which earns revenue for the newspaper. It is divided into two main divisions: (i) advertising, and (ii) circulation.
The advertisement department may have further sub-divisions such as advertisements for local display, national display, classified advertisements, etc. It may also have a research bureau and an art section to help in the preparation of advertisements.
The circulation department deals with the dispatch of copies to the city and beyond the city through road, rail and air. It may also have a promotional wing to boost up the circulation of the newspaper.
4. Mechanical Department:
The mechanical department, generally, is divided into four sections—composing (typesetting), engraving, stereotyping and press. In the first, the copy is set into type. The engraving wing is concerned with photos and drawings and make-up for printing.
In the stereotyping section, the plates for the printing are cast in molten metal from the page form. The papers are printed, folded, trimmed, counted and delivered to the mailing section by the press room.
The leading newspapers have also separate administrative or coordinating, as well as promotional departments.
The administrative department looks after administration of different departments, while the promotional department deals with all promotional work in respect of advertisements and circulation.