WCVB Assignment Sheets
To enter WCVB’s stories into the database, we’re using the assignment sheets from the station’s day-to-day workings.
Each assignment sheet has between 10 and 20 stories about the events happening in and around Boston, sometimes covering the entire North East. This often results in a mixture of breaking stories, news conferences, sports interviews, fluff pieces, and court cases. The variety is nice, and it’s easy to follow stories as they unfolded, since we’re going through the sheets chronologically. For the most part, the sheets are also laid out in an easy to read, and thus easy to enter into the database, fashion.
By far the best part of working with the assignment sheets, however, is the description techniques of whoever wrote the sheets up.
There is a tone not present in most catalog descriptions. There is also a lot of colloquial language, some news jargon, some 1970s slang. All in all, I feel like I actually know the people reporting on these stories, which adds a level of understanding on top of just knowing the topics and issues they covered. And considering the nicknames some of the reporters get on the assignment sheets, they sound like a very interesting bunch. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Hornet, Zebra, Hippo, and the Bee? Not to mention some reporters that I have discovered went on to have nationally recognized careers, like Mike Taibbi.