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Inside the newsroom: A look at the multi-platform newsroom

Newsroom, KSL, Deseret News, in Salt Lake City, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.
Newsroom, KSL, Deseret News, in Salt Lake City, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.
Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Scanners line the Assignment Desk in the multi-platform newsroom of the Deseret News and KSL. Desk editors monitor the scanners, place calls to law enforcement sources and have strong relationships, as do our reporters and editors, with first responders throughout the state — crucial to receiving quick, accurate information.

On the morning of Nov 15, police and emergency crews raced to Mountain View High School in Orem. There had been a stabbing.

Assignment Desk manager Cody Nielson snapped into action, relaying information to KSL Newsradio and KSL-TV, and alerting Deseret News managers. Both still and video photographers were dispatched to Orem as were reporters for each platform. KSL's Chopper 5 would provide aerial views and information if necessary.

Quickly we learned that as many as five students were injured, apparently in a locker room. The school was on lockdown. Thankfully, the suspect, a 16-year-old student, would be quickly contained and apprehended. All five students survived and have shared miraculous tales as they now recover.

Our focus was on accurate information, through radio bulletins and live reports, both Deseret News and KSL news alerts reaching readers on cellphones, quick information to our websites, cut-ins and live reports on television. That's the breaking news portion and allows the Deseret News and KSL to reach the largest audience in the state, crucial during times of crisis and true need. The same is at play during natural disasters and weather events, or more general breaking news in government and education.

As the hours and days pressed on, Deseret News reporter Pat Reavy provided context and stories about the criminal response, the school and community response, and the personal journeys of the victims. Also assessed were safety measures at the school. Should more be done?

Now managing the many pieces of this newsgathering operation is Chuck Wing, promoted this past week to managing editor for cross-platform news and maintaining his role as director of photography for the Deseret News and KSL-TV. He oversees the Assignment Desk as part of those responsibilities.

Brian West, formerly a Deseret News deputy managing editor, was promoted to news director for the Deseret News, a new position in the newsroom focused on the Deseret News news report. He joins Leona Wood, KSL-TV news director; Sheryl Worsley, KSL radio news director; Whitney Evans, news director for KSL.com; and Aaron Shill, the content director for deseretnews.com who provide consistent journalism decision-making, while maintaining the independence of the Deseret News, KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio, as well as the websites in their reports.

The newsroom is one of only a few in the country to successfully leverage the strength of the newsgathering, enhancing the reach of the report, while meeting the individual needs of each platform. And it's just one part.

Each platform maintains separate enterprise and investigative reporting teams, and we continue to evolve to meet the digital realities of journalism. The point is we want to provide the most accurate and complete report in timely fashion, and to bring it to you where you want to receive it, from your front porch to your cellphone.

I'm proud to be associated with such a fine group of journalists.