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Anybody else with helpful co-workers?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Starman, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Who shout out to the whole newsroom if you send out a page three minutes late?

    "Hey, that page was supposed to be out at 11, right? It's 11:03."

    And no, it is not part of their job. They aren't supervisors, editors, even assistant editors. They don't rank you on the food chain; in fact, they don't really rank anybody.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I think most copy-editors go through a phase when they are young when they start yelling out every mistake they catch. Most grow out of it. A few may need some Starman justice to get over it, though.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yep, ever since they laid off our proofreaders we sort of cross proof pages, as time permits. One newer guy would take like 40 minutes to go over a page and note every single possible item, suggestions, etc. While I appreciated his thoroughness, I was like "Mate, I have six pages to finish in the next 40 minutes. If I spend an extra 20 minutes rewriting every headline you suggested, we'll be here until sunrise. Just check the major stuff, OK?"
  4. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Amen on dat one.

    And BTW ... don't catch an "it" vs. "their" mistake in the 23rd graf and then miss a misspelling in the headline. That won't score points, either.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    When I'm tight for time, I always look at headlines first, then cutlines, then refer boxes. Anything else is down the priority list.

    Back to the original post.......

    One night last winter we had a typical heavy sports load and much of it coming in late. I thought I did a hell of a job getting the section out five minutes past deadline. Got some flack from the news editor, to which I replied "Do you want to sit in this chair next Saturday?" The silence was deafening.

    Seriously, whenever we have an election night, the newsroom goes nuts.. and understandably so. I even do everything in my power to clear sports pages early (even when it means leaving out West Coast NHL/NBA/MLB games) in order to help them.

    But, we have the equivalent of an election night about once a week. Late local, late regional, late national, stuff we have to write up off faxes, phone calls, etc. Our staff isn't big enough to allow the luxury of someone doing exclusively pagination. We all do a little bit of everything. Some nights it comes down to damage control, as in "how close to deadline can I possibly make it without screwing something up/leaving something important out?"
  6. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    I work on the quietest desk I've ever been on, which weirds me out a little given a few of the animal houses I've been at, and the one moment anybody talks is (a) if a page is done or (b) if the clock is ticking.
  7. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse Member

    Yeah, because the person blowing deadline never knows he's running late.
  8. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It's a combination of blatant grandstanding/brown-nosing, like they're the only one in the office who cares about deadline.

    It's also a kind of indirect agitation that they should be in the management chain, since obviously they care enough to call people out about deadline to the whole newsroom when nobody else gives a shit.

    We have a couple people in our office who do it a lot. With each of them, I've used the line, "And when is YOUR next page due? Oh yes, that's right, they don't allow you to put out pages on deadline."

    That got me called in for supposedly making "hostile remarks" in the newsroom.

    We have people whose job it is to make sure deadlines are hit. They are called "department editors." If any of those people have problems if I miss deadline by 3 minutes (I usually don't, BTW) and want to tell me about it, that is fine, that is part of their job.

    But basically this is just the peanut gallery.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I'd rather have an annoying copy editor than a designer who takes a generous approach to deadlines.
  10. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I can't put into words how much I loved that line. Possibly because I'm one of those designers who totally disregards deadline. ::)
  11. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    Here's my take on the election night comparison, having worked busy Friday/Saturday nights in sports and a few election nights in news:

    Yes, it's an accurate comparison. Every Friday is election night in sports. Same quantity of content, same deadlines, same rush to get it all in.

    But the big difference is that sports has its routine down -- every Friday is the same, everyone knows their role and rarely is the big boss breathing down your neck.

    On news side, it's chaos -- you've got day-siders working at night, so their schedules are off; you've got extra hands on the desk and maybe not enough workstations; you've got a handful of big bosses who normally leave at 5:01 p.m. hanging around because it's ELECTION NIGHT and they feel they must micromanage; you've got people who aren't used to dead time waiting for all the results to hit at once.

    It's not that the workload or pressure is different, it's the routine vs. novelty factor that makes it harder.
  12. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    That this happened gives me great comfort, for some weird reason. :D
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