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Diary, Off-Diary
Diary, off-diary

Information kept by newsdesks/picture desks, to assist forward planning, about news events due to occur later that day, month or year, e.g. court cases, council meetings, film premieres, Royal visits, scheduled press conferences. A ‘diary story’, therefore, is predictable in so far as its timing is concerned and usually depends on official sources for much of its content.

An ‘off-diary’ story is one originated by a journalist's own idea, or suggested by or discovered through his/her informal contacts or non-official sources, or generated by a tip-off to the newsdesk. Off-diary work, therefore, if it yields an end-product, is more likely than a diary story to produce an exclusive.

Job adverts for journalists often stress that the ability to generate ‘off-diary’ stories is essential. However, ...

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