Budget lines + codes

A couple of you suggested I post on the blog the codes that go on budget lines.

First, here’s a sample budget line from this weekend:

EDITED, BUT NEEDS AC CVB-OCA: City Manager Mike Matthes has backed off his idea to merge the Office of Cultural Affairs with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, but he still wants to move them into the same building so that they can work more closely together. This is another budget-related proposal. We’ll try to explain to people how these offices might work together to promote their respective causes.
(T) Carlota Cortes (Swafford or ACE)

“CVB-OCA” is the slug (unfortunately, it’s two acronyms so it’s not quickly descriptive — we use very few acronyms in stories in the Missourian but for brevity’s sake they were used in this budget line). Notice how the slug is bold and followed by a colon.

Here are the codes you might add below it (not all of these would necessarily be added by you, the reporter):

(T) Text (your name here if you wrote the text — the article — and your editor’s last name in parentheses next to yours)
(B) Burst (this is that thing with a red overline near the top of the home page, just below the “hot topics,” that tells readers about breaking news; editors usually write these, but not always).
(P) Photo(s). By photographer’s name. (EDITOR or DEPARTMENT/DESK)
(S) Slideshow.
(V) Video. By reporter’s name. (EDITOR or DEPARTMENT/DESK)
(AS) Audio slideshow. By reporter’s name. (EDITOR or DEPARTMENT/DESK)
(DOC) Description of documents to attach to package, like a pdf of a lawsuit.
(TW)– Twitter (it’s been tweeted)
(FB) Facebook (it’s been posted)
(OUT) Outreach team project
(TBR) Tumblr
(CMYK) CoMoYouKnow entry to link to
(MYMO) MyMissourian component

If the story is for your beat, you should send it to your editor (who will place it on the budget) or to the ACE on duty if your editors asks you to do that. We have to have these soon after you begin reporting so we can put these “budget lines” on the budget. It helps us all know who’s working on what.

Remember that the slug you put on your Django file should match the slug you use on the budget line and (whenever possible) on the Trax request.

Writing budget lines is good exercise for the aspiring concise writer. It will force you to focus on the point of your story and ought to make plain what the news is. As always, your questions on any of this are most welcome.

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2 Responses to Budget lines + codes

  1. Haoyun Su says:

    Thank you for sharing!
    It’s really helpful.

  2. Reblogged this on Black Lives Chatter and commented:
    This blog post is beneficial to aspiring journalist or writers in general.

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