The View From Here

Man, this is brutal. We started school ten days ago and already we have to put this bad boy out on the stands to be devoured and digested by you readers. I mean normally our production cycle consists of fourteen days, but we’ve had to hit the ground running, and this year is only going to get more difficult.

This year I’m going to rearrange how our paper works. The nice thing about this is it’s not dependant on me being Editor in Chief; the machinations I’ve been working on this summer are already in place, and only a massive outcry from our staff will stop it. We don’t put content out fast enough and some reforms need to change that.

Our paper is bi-weekly, and our production cycle normally works the way it will for this issue. The section editors and I put out story ideas on Friday and assign them to different writers based on the specialties of those writers, and of course our whims. Graphic artists are assigned to the stories around Monday or so and meetings with sources were arranged by the writers, I hope… The stories, probably written Tuesday night, will then be submitted to the editors who will check them over on Wednesday. After that comes the not so simple matter of placing the stories on the pages using Adobe InDesign, and while it should go fast with five section editors this is what takes up the majority of our nights. Simultaneously the stories are put on our website, and we leave the building around ten or so after sending it to the printers. The paper is then put on the stands and picked up by someone like you.

The problem with this kind of production cycle is all of the downtime inside of it. While we have a two-week production cycle we only meet on six of those days. That means a whole lot of procrastination happens, with about a quarter of the stories written the day before, and the rest written the day of production.

This is what I hope to change. What I want to try out this semester is a kind of double production cycle in which one week will be devoted to putting things on our website, and the next week we will take things from the website, and other special assignments, and put them into the print edition. This is going to be a lot more work likely, but I think we owe the challenge to ourselves and our readers.

The spring ’08 semester was a very good one for the Skyline View. We had a massive influx of writing talent that combined very favorably with a receptive audience.

Last semester online we had more readers than ever, and our papers flew off of the stands at quite a decent clip. We have definitely gotten way better in terms of online content, last semester we at least doubled the number of multimedia elements on our website from the previous one, but it’s not enough. We have no excuse now for not giving new content every week. We have a staff of 13 compared to a staff of like 7 last semester, and so with all the positions filled we will still have extra people to pin stuff up on our website. I guess what I’m trying to say with all of this is that we’ve been wasting too much time with procrastination, and it needs to stop, so that we can learn, and also acquire more readers. I am not excluded from the procrastination charges, writing this article at 2:29 p.m. on the Tuesday before production night.