We said it before and we’ll say it again. Being a decent journalist is what got you into an ND job, but now you have to be much more. Still, even the driest administrative task should be seen as doing journalism. Sometimes it’s just indirect.
As for direct news work, that will vary by station. Let’s consider:
Reporting is a time-intensive process and could detract from other duties. As such, it is best when news directors have full-time professional reporters to gather news. Most news directors like to keep a hand in newsgathering doing at least occasional spots and features. Small departments may place significant reporting demands on news directors.
ND’s often pick-up anchoring and hosting work because they are conveniently tied to the newsroom, and also because they usually have gained their share of on-air experience. Ideally, ND’s would only serve as presenters if they are especially good at it AND it doesn’t inhibit their leadership and management activity. It needs to be acknowledged that when people are on the air, they must devote their attention to that task and not be expected to perform other roles simultaneously.
Newsrooms need a top overseer of the news process. This is a primary function of the news director. Editorial organizing may include issuing story assignments, editing scripts, and steering long-range coverage plans. ND’s may delegate some of these tasks but they should remain their news department’s chief editor.