“Doing journalism” is central to your work. Even the driest administrative task is part of it. As for getting out in the field to report… or behind the microphone to anchor… that will vary by station.
The ND as Reporter
Reporting is a time-intensive process. As such, it is best to have full-time professional reporters. While most news directors like to keep a hand in newsgathering, the more reporters they manage, the less reporting time they’ll have. On the other hand, small departments may place significant reporting demands on news directors.
The ND as Presenter
ND’s often pick-up anchoring and hosting work because they are tied to the newsroom. (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.
The ND as Editor
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.