WNIJ News Professional Conduct Guidelines
Dress: The standard is business casual (Google it!), but the practical rule is: Dress for your assignment.
- If you will be in the station your entire shift, business casual is an excellent choice. (Depending on the weather, you might even wear shorts and flip-flops with a polo-type shirt -- but have a change of clothes handy in case you need to go out on assignment!)
- If you will be slogging around in a farm field or at a fire site, jeans and work boots are a good idea.
- If you are covering a formal event, dress accordingly.
When in doubt, ask.
Schedule: Be punctual, whether it is for your shift at the station or an appointment with a news source. On the air, we call it "hitting the post" -- staying within exact times during programs and breaks. You should carry that attitude into your off-air news duties.
Content: Bring at least one story idea -- with suggestions for interview sources -- for each shift. Refer to the "Story Visioning Worksheet" post for ideas on how to proceed.
Edits: Edits are not punishments, they are part of the process. Respect your editor and work on solutions together. You are your first editor. Verify all spellings -- especially names -- and titles in your stories, along with addresses, etc.
Cell phones: Be respectful with cell phone use. They are wonderful tools, but talking on them where the conversation interferes with others is a major annoyance. Put your cell phone on silent mode (or turn it off) during interviews or while covering assignments. Don't automatically answer a call during an interview.
Station Equipment: You may be authorized to use equipment owned or provided by Northern Public Radio for WNIJ News assignments. You are required to sign out any station equipment that you remove from its storage space and sign it back in when you are finished with the assignment.
Station Courtesy: We share the NIU Broadcast Center with a couple of dozen other people -- staff, volunteers, guests, etc. -- so you must not abuse the space available to all.
- Don't usurp the break room for interviews, research or other news work; there are designated spaces for news staff to use for those purposes.
- Don’t let your food pile up in the break room refrigerator or elsewhere; label your items and store them efficiently.
- Don't let your personal equipment -- or equipment assigned to you -- be a source of clutter in the newsroom or elsewhere; put it away where (and how) it belongs.