Organization and Personnel
In the United States, the overall manager or chief executive of the newspaper is the publisher. In small newspapers, the owner of the publication (or the largest shareholder in the corporation that owns the publication) is usually the publisher. Although he or she rarely or perhaps never writes stories, the publisher is legally responsible for the contents of the entire newspaper and also runs the business, including hiring editors, reporters, and other staff members. This title is less common outside the U.S. The equivalent position in the film industry and television news shows is the executive producer.
Most newspapers have four main departments devoted to publishing the newspaper itself—editorial, production/printing, circulation, and advertising, although they are frequently referred to by a variety of other names—as well as the non-newspaper-specific departments also found in other businesses of comparable size, such as accounting, marketing, human resources, and IT.
Throughout the English-speaking world, the person who selects the content for the newspaper is usually referred to as the editor. Variations on this title such as editor-in-chief, executive editor, and so on are common. For small newspapers, a single editor may be responsible for all content areas. At large newspapers, the most senior editor is in overall charge of the publication, while less senior editors may each focus on one subject area, such as local news or sports. These divisions are called news bureaus or "desks", and each is supervised by a designated editor. Most newspaper editors copy edit the stories for their part of the newspaper, but they may share their workload with proofreaders and fact checkers.
Reporters are journalists who primarily report facts that they have gathered and those who write longer, less news-oriented articles may be called feature writers. Photographers and graphic artists provide images and illustrations to support articles. Journalists often specialize in a subject area, called a beat, such as sports, religion, or science. Columnists are journalists who write regular articles recounting their personal opinions and experiences.
Printers and press operators physically print the newspaper. Printing is outsourced by many newspapers, partly because of the cost of an offset web press (the most common kind of press used to print newspapers) and also because a small newspaper's print run might require less than an hour of operation, meaning that if the newspaper had its own press it would sit idle most of the time. If the newspaper offers information online, webmasters and web designers may be employed to upload stories to the newspaper's website.
The staff of the circulation department liaise with retailers who sell the newspaper; sell subscriptions; and supervise distribution of the printed newspapers through the mail, by newspaper carriers, at retailers, and through vending machines. Free newspapers do not sell subscriptions, but they still have a circulation department responsible for distributing the newspapers.
Sales staff in the advertising department not only sell space to clients such as local businesses, but also help advertisers design and plan their advertising campaigns. Other members of the advertising department may include graphic designers, who design ads according to the customers' specifications and the department's policies. In an advertising-free newspaper, there is no advertising department.
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