So I imagined that there was a good chance that a reporter would see the site, go to his or her editor, and say: “Hey, I have an interactive data visualization of all Clinton’s emails. Can I write a story on it?” and the editor would say: “Of course, make it quick.” I don’t know if these conversations actually happened, but given the large volume of traffic our project received I would be surprised if they didn’t.
What I learned from visualizing Hillary Clinton’s emails
Cesar A. Hidalgo

Depending on the site, the topic, the reporter’s experience, and the cadence of coverage, it’s very likely the reporter made the decision to cover the story without the input of an editor. News and traffic grabs move too quickly to involve long processes; the most successful sites hire independent journalists who are able to intuit the news orgs’ guardrails and have an implicit understanding of what an audience will respond to.