It’s interesting that I tend to write these before production nights actually happen, since the topic usually is production nights.
In a way, it’s useful to me to be able to look back at the expectations I had before reality struck. On the other hand, it can be depressing to reread an old VFH where I had a very positive outlook and then think about how much changed on production night.
Despite this, I do feel like we have a better chance for conquering the 10 p.m. “tradition” of the newsroom.
Last semester I had high hopes for achieving this but ultimately everyone, myself included, had too much to learn for any of the goals I set early on to be at all realistic.
I managed to set up deadlines and procedures and all that fun stuff later on last semester but at that point, it was very much like trying to teach an old dog new tricks.
We’ve solved a lot of that this semester. Stories are getting done sooner and we have a lot more people working with and through the usual productivity bottlenecks.
This production is going to be the true test of how well it’s all working though. We found out just last week that to avoid bigger conflicts later in the semester, we would have to put out two issues only a week apart.
This chops our turnaround time in half. Though I’m aware it is kind of underhanded given our surprise new schedule, I’ve promised the staff that there has been enough leniency regarding the deadlines I’ve set. Any articles not done and submitted by deadline are cut, period.
Regular readers of our paper know that last semester I was forced to make good on this promise in a very big way. One time so few articles were done by deadline that I was forced to cut an issue of the paper down to a scant four pages, eliminating two entire sections in the process.
I’m sure I won’t have to do anything that drastic this time around but I’m also sure I am going to have to cut a few articles to get the point across.
On a side note, those of you who are regular readers may have noticed that our flag on the front page has changed, as well as our bylines and the headers in the entertainment section.
A few of us sat down and took a good look at the design elements we’d established and decided that it would be well worth it to tweak and improve on some thing. We did a bit of redesigning and although nothing terribly drastic is different, we feel that the cleaner look of the elements we have created gives the paper a more professional feel.
All that aside, I need to prepare myself for the dirty looks I’m going to get when I slash some articles off the board.
On a brighter note, maybe the staff will thank me when we start putting the paper to bed at 5 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.