Picture editor's bid to close book on traditional diaries

The Sentinel’s picture
editor Martin Elliott has launched an electronic diary for
photographers at the Stoke paper in order to dispose of the “scrappy,
illegible, hieroglyphics” found in traditional handwritten diaries,
writes Sarah Lagan.

Using Microsoft Outlook, all editorial staff,
including those in district offices, can access the diary from their
desktops and journalists can check where photographers are when making
their requests, rather than having to ask the picture desk. They can
see which photographers are at which events through a colour coding
system and can find a suitable time to make further photo requests.

Email request forms include the date and time of the request as well as contact details and a description of the job.

Elliott,
who joined The Sentinel 18 months ago after working at the Derby
Telegraph, said: “I am surprised that it hasn’t been done before. I
thought, we have all this technology and we are still using an old
handwritten diary. It is easily accessed and legible and cuts out a lot
of messing around inputting something that’s already been written. I
have seen requests scribbled on scraps of paper or just written in a
diary with little or no details for the photographers to complete the
task to the best of their skills. It was like trying to decipher
hieroglyphics in some cases.”

For advice on setting up a diary, contact Elliott on photographic@thesentinel.co.uk

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