In journalism, an assignment editor is an editor – either at a newspaper, or radio or television station – who selects, develops and plans reporting assignments, either news events or feature stories, to be covered by reporters.
An assignment editor often fields calls from the public, who give news tips, or information about a possible story or event to be covered. Sometimes, these calls may:
Other times, the news tip may come in the form of a news release, which may either promote an event, meeting, etc.; or alert editors and reporters about an upcoming news conference. Sometimes, assignment editors must sift through hundreds of news releases each day.
Whatever the case, it is the assignment editor's job to determine what news tips and news releases are the most newsworthy, and then decide which reporter to assign a story to. Those assignments are often determined based on the reporter's experience, skills and his/her beat (e.g., police, courts, schools, city hall, county, etc.).
If a major story develops – such as a disaster or economic development – an assignment editor may enlist several reporters (in addition to whoever usually covers that beat) to cover various angles of a story. For instance, if the story is about a plant closing, one reporter may be asked to do the main story about the closing, while other reporters may be asked to do stories on such things as employee reaction, reaction from business and community leaders, a history of the plant (and other plant closings, if appropriate), etc.
At many smaller daily and weekly newspapers, the role of assignment editor is often combined with an editor's other duties (e.g., an assistant editor who also lays out the pages also may be asked to assign stories to reporters).
ESPN's Stevens loves a challenge. (Disability in the Workplace).(profile of Dave Stevens, an Emmy Award-winning NFL assignment editor for ESPN)
May 26, 2003; DON'T EVER CALL DAVE STEVENS DISABLED. Don't ever feel sorry for Dave Stevens because he was born with no legs. And most...