Newsroom Roles

Editorial board


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: The Editor-in-Chief is in charge of all news content for the College Heights Herald and the WKUHerald digital platforms. The editor is the chief spokesperson for the news organization, primary representative in the campus community, addresses complaints and deals with all outside agencies and individuals when they interact with the news department. The editor-in-chief is selected by the WKU Student Publications Committee after an application and interview process.


Among the editor-in-chief’s responsibilities:

  • Selects section editors and makes final decisions concerning personnel matters dealing with the news department, including hiring and firing.
  • Conducts regular staff and chairs Editorial Board meetings.
  • Determines payroll within a budget set by the Director of Student Publications and the adviser to the College Heights Herald.
  • Works with the advertising manager to determine page count and layout of the print edition.
  • In consultation with the editorial board, decides news layout and has final say on any aspect of news content or design.
  • Oversees production of the print and digital editions, assists in completion of any aspect of editorial production that requires attention, does “final reads” on print-edition pages and ensures delivery to the printer by deadline.
  • Leads all inquiry boards investigating allegations of misconduct on staff.
  • Serves as a non-voting member of the WKU Student Publications Committee.
  • Works closely with section editors to help each of them perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.


MANAGING EDITOR: The Managing Editor is second in command and reports directly to the editor-in-chief. The Managing Editor oversees all aspects of the publication including planning and managing all daily operations, collaborating with editor-in-chief to determine issues’ content and design, supervising section editors, approving assignments for writers and editors. controlling schedules and enforcing deadlines for all staff, overseeing proofreading procedures and editing copy when necessary. The Managing Editor also assists in evaluating finalized copy for compliance with policies, style and tone and, resolving issues as they arise.


DIGITAL EDITOR: The Digital Editor is responsible for working with the entire newsroom team to generate content for the Herald’s digital platforms, including news stories, photographs, graphics and videos for The Digital Editor also has primary responsibility for managing content within the content management systems for digital products and, in consultation with the editor-in-chief and other members of the editorial board, the overall look and feel of the main web site. In addition, the Digital Editor will assemble a team of student journalists who expand live coverage of the WKU community between cycles of the print edition, maintaining digital products that are updated and refreshed several times every day. The Digital Editor also will supervise social media management.


NEWS EDITOR: The News Editor assigns and oversees news stories for the print and digital editions, works to fill news staff positions, supervises beat and general assignment reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production.


ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR: Assists the News Editor in managing the reporting staff, editing stories and helping reporters develop their skills. The Assistant News Editor also reports and writes stories for publication as necessary.

SPORTS EDITOR: The Sports Editor assigns and oversees sports stories for the print and digital editions, works to fill sports staff positions, supervises beat and general assignment reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production.


FEATURES EDITOR: The Features Editor assigns and oversees feature stories for the print and digital editions, works to fill features staff positions, supervises features reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production.


PHOTO EDITOR: The Photo Editor assigns and oversees the photo staff, including still photography and video, for the print and digital editions and works with other editors to promote visual treatment of news, sports and feature stories. The photo editor works to fill photo staff positions, helps edit images and captions, recommends photo in the print and digital editions and assists with ideas on design.


ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR: Assists the Photo Editor in managing the photography staff, editing photos and helping photographers develop their skills. The Assistant Photo Editor also shoots assignments and enterprise photography as necessary.


DESIGN EDITOR: The Design Editor is responsible for the overall look and feel of the print and digital editions. The Design Editor works with the editor-in-chief, photo editor and section editors on laying out the newspaper, and with the editor-in-chief and the digital editor on the look of the website. In addition, the Design Editor is responsible for the overall consistency of the appearance of news products, watches for stories that would be aided by infographics and other visual journalism, and works with artists, photographers and editors in planning news design.


OPINION EDITOR: The Opinion Editor organizes and leads discussion of the Herald editorial positions at editorial board meetings. The Opinion Editor also writes editorials by the early deadline if possible, consulting with editorial board members as needed during the process, receives and verifies letters to the editor, solicits columns from experts on issues, and supervises and works closely with all staff columnists and the editorial cartoonist.


VIDEO EDITOR: The Video Editor assigns and oversees the video staff for the digital edition and works with other editors to promote visual treatment of news, sports and feature stories. The video editor works to fill video staff positions, helps edit video, recommends video in the digital edition.


COPY DESK CHIEF: The Copy Desk Chief is responsible for supervising the copy desk. The editor reads stories in second edit for accuracy, clarity, completeness, grammar and style; keeps reporters abreast of the status of their stories; manages the online Style Book, attends staff meetings and works during production.


Non-Editorial Board positions


**All staffers must attend staff meetings, meet deadlines and participate in production. Staff members must also aid in the distribution of the Herald in both print and web. Staffers are also expected to report breaking news and check Slack daily for messages. All staffers must familiarize themselves with Herald content management systems including Camayak and Blox. All staffers are representatives of the Herald brand, so staffers must maintain good-standing in the community and must adhere to all policies set forth in the Student Publications Policy Manual including social media best practices.


BEAT REPORTER: Beat reporters write stories within their assigned beat, calls sources on their beat as often as necessary — usually once or twice a week — to keep abreast of potential stories. Beat reporters read other publications and look for stories concerning their beats. Beat reporters produce at least two to three in-depth stories from their beat each semester and contribute online coverage.


GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER: General assignment reporters write stories they are assigned or develop in consultation with their editor. GA reporters look for potential stories and readily accept assignments for print and online coverage, and attend all staff meetings.

**All reporters are expected to meet deadlines, including filing event stories no more than two hours after the event and to provide any additional content (audio, video, etc.) for the web.


PHOTOGRAPHER: Photographers will shoot assignments given by the photo editor and meet deadlines with assignments for print and online, as well as have complete and accurate caption information. All photographers are expected to pitch at least two to three projects in a semester, including photo stories and multimedia pieces.


PAGE DESIGNER: Designers designing pages and graphics that use visual journalism techniques to convey information for the print and digital products assigned by the Design Editor.


COPY EDITOR: Copy Editors read stories in first copy checking for factual errors, spelling, grammar, AP Style and punctuation.


COLUMNIST: Columnists work with the Opinion Editor to submit opinion pieces for print and web. Columnists must research and investigate their topic before writing.


EDITORIAL CARTOONIST: The editorial cartoonist works closely with the opinion page editor and editor-in-chief to produce thought-provoking illustrations to complement editorials or provide art for the opinion pages. As time permits, the cartoonist may take assignments from other editors to produce covers for special sections, illustrate stories or provide other artwork.