Annoying Autobiographical Pause #387

11 03 2008

In my non-cyber existence, I’ve been busy herding cats. I know that might not make a lot of sense but it does to me.

Let me explain, last week we had a bank robbery. Batesville and I treked to the bank (no one was hurt) stood in the burning cold and did what we do. So it was a lot of hurry up and wait. (They caught the suspects in Nashville and dude wore a wig that looked somewhat like this.)


It’s all about the hurry up and wait these days. Because the paper I work for is not a daily and we do not have access to wire services like the Associated Press, we have to be creative. Our staff is wicked small and has an almost family feel about it. The community feels a sense of ownership for this paper which has been part of the town since 1884.

When there isn’t a big news story, we rely on feature stories about people in the community. (There isn’t always a bank robbery going on, campers.) We also rely a lot on what’s going on in city board meetings and the like. You do find some juicy stuff in that but it only applies to what’s happening in our area.

We were hyperlocal before it was a word.

Sports is huge (and probably sells more papers than anything) because some of these kids playing high school athletics will only appear in newsprint once. They aren’t all like, let’s say, Chad Clifton who’s played for the Green Bay Packers for years now but grew up in our tiny burg.

I read a lot about viral marketing, new ranges of time for a news story (remember I’ve discussed the length of stories such as how long Watergate dominated the news in the mid-70s or even Iran-Contra 15 years later in comparison to, let’s say, how long the Spitzer story is going to be in the news) and keeping up to date with so much available at one time and how it impacts our community.

The news watercooler time has changed with the Internet and with 24/7 news. It depends on what news is happening at the time.

I used to work in radio and I miss the immediacy of delivering that kind of news. Now it’s a matter of finding what we will run front page when the cycle is already somewhat over.

And sometimes we have a lot and sometimes not so much but determining what our audience wants can give you a headache.

So, it’s a lot of crunch time busy then some down time where we try to determine what our community wants but the crunch time is pretty intense. And we are in the midst of learning video which, believe me, is a challenge for my old tired ass but I’m enjoying it.

And we are reorganizing to a degree to make adjustments in the world of journalism. It’s why I follow guys like Jack Lail and blogs like Music City Bloggers and TennViews, which in essence has the feel of a community newspaper. Demarcationville also keep us with this as well. I’m trying to learn. I have hundreds of sites in my feedburner about the changes in news.

It’s challenging.

Things are changing and this is always on my mind.





4 responses

11 03 2008
Paul Chenoweth

Wait. You have a non-cyber existence? Da-yem!

11 03 2008

I couldn’t even continue reading after I saw the wig picture!

Holy crap that’s good.

Now they’re gonna fire me at work for laughing hysterically. Thanks a lot.

11 03 2008

The dog looks like Shirley MacLaine. LOL

11 03 2008
David Selvin

I think I’m going to put that wig on my wii me. Hil(hair)ious!

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