As School Report News Day approaches, here are our top tips for working safely in a newsroom environment.
A well organised workspace is a safe work space.
Make sure you avoid trailing cables between desks
Take a little time to decide who will sit where and what equipment they will need.
Think through the steps you need to take to ease congestion, especially with regards to editing your sound and pictures.
Do not overload the mains power supply in any one area and do not use too many multi-way power adaptors.
KEEP THE WORKSPACE TIDY
Avoid trailing cables between desks.
Keep food and drink away from the equipment and workstations.
Avoid placing bags and coats near computers or on chairs - they become trip hazards.
ENSURE ENOUGH LIGHT
Ensure that there is sufficient (but not too much) light in the newsroom.
Avoid glare and reflections on the computer screens.
KEEP THE NOISE DOWN
Keep the noise down by discouraging general chit chat.
Ask students to walk across the room to converse with someone, rather than shout across it.
Keep the volume on any speakers in the newsroom down to a minimum working level.
Where possible, monitor sound when editing using headphones. Remind students to take them off before talking to someone as people tend to shout when wearing headphones.
Spread out the areas that will be labour/pupil-intensive to avoid clustering.
When two or more large groups gather side by side, there is often a commensurate rise in noise and a tendency to compete for space that can be very disruptive.
WALK DON'T RUN
Encourage students to walk from place to place, whatever the deadline.
Running increases the risk of injury and engenders an atmosphere of panic.
AVOID EUREKA MOMENTS
If part of the production team achieve success, a quiet "high five" is preferable to a raucous "way to go!" shout.
A loud celebration from one area of the room can be disrupting.
It can also be off-putting for other groups who may be struggling to resolve a problem.
Deadlines matter, but encourage your students to stay calm. They aren't a matter of life and death.
Don't panic! Enjoy it!