It’s National Newspaper Week. And it turned my thoughts to why I actually got into this business.
Monday and Tuesday, as usual, I’m on deadline.
That includes writing last-minute stories, picking out photos, editing, designing pages and proofreading.
Typically, I just eat lunch on those two days while on the run – usually at my desk while still working.
Lots of folks don’t understand deadlines. I’ve been working on deadlines since 1986 (that’s 31 years). Actually, make that longer, because my journalism teacher at the University of North Alabama demanded our articles be turned in on time. She was preparing us for every facet of our careers.
We send the Pigeon Roost News to press Monday at 5 p.m. We send The South Reporter to press Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Your staff at your community weekly is a small one, but we know our deadlines, and for the most part, we adhere to them. We hit snags but we overcome.
Wednesday mornings, I typically run a brief portion of the overall newspaper route. My drive takes me south to Waterford and Abbeville.
A couple of weeks ago the ladies at the Waterford Post Office said, when I walked in the door, “You’re early.”
I thought about one of the slogans I’ve been raised on – “better early than late.” My mother taught me to finish my chores on time and arrive places on time (like work and church).
Also Wednesday, I go to my Rotary Club meeting. I’ve been a Rotarian for 26 years.
After Rotary last week, I did an interview for a story – Maurey Manufacturing celebrating 100 years in business.
Then I helped unload some newspaper circulars from an 18-wheeler.
Thursday was our annual Rotary Golf Tournament. After helping get the hole sponsors signs on the course, I enjoyed a slower-pace lunch with my wife Pam and then drove to neighboring DeSoto County to visit with some advertisers there.
Later, I was back in the office, selecting some photos for this week’s newspaper and printing out some copy that was e-mailed to me. On a typical week, I may look through 300 photos deciding which to try to run in the newspaper. I talked with Barbara Taylor and Sue Watson about some things coming up – news-wise and advertising-wise. It always helps to plan ahead.
It’s Friday (of last week) when I’m writing this column. I just finished photographing the Marshall Academy homecoming parade, writing a feature story and calling coach Chris Daniels at H.W. Byers to talk with him about his team’s football game the night before.
I just waited on some customers up front, all placing classified ads for the next newspaper, plus I telephoned some advertisers about their upcoming display ads.
I have to take a required form to the post office soon.
And then I need to check a few racks to see if they need more papers.
Tonight, it’s Friday night football. Tomorrow, there’s a ribbon cutting. Plus, I will be at the office some – trying to get ahead prior to Monday and Tuesday.
I love this business.