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Getting co-workers at a twice-weekly to get into daily mindset

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Besides reporting, I am the de facto Web editor at my twice-weekly. How do you get other reporters in a daily mindset so that the Web site has new content. Most reporters here are just used to writing all of their stories on production day, with little effort expended throughout the week. Just getting some reporters out of the office is a challenge when most are quite happy to do all of their interviews through phone and e-mail.
  2. redsox99

    redsox99 Member

    You and the ME have to mandate it, make it part of their reporting duties and hold their feet to the fire. We've made it part of the evaluation process here. Breaking news and live sporting events should be a daily part of any newspaper's web site regardless of if it's a daily, weekly or twice weekly. If I were at a twice weekly or weekly now, I don't think I'd even want gamers in the section.
  3. cubman

    cubman Member

    I am the editor of a high school sports Web site in Houston, and I fought this fight with my former writer for 14 months. He came from a weekly where there was absolutely no urgency to get anything up; I came from being the Web editor at a daily in Ohio where everything was urgent.
    To the day we let him go, he had a tough time meeting deadlines (I mandated two hours after the end of a game, which I think is fair given that we also must do photos). Many times stories were not filed until 4 or 5 a.m. Our interns and stringers apologized profusely if they weren't in within 90 minutes.
    I just reinforced the deadlines continously and held him to the fire as much as possible. His laziness ultimately cost him his job.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    You should not be in daily mindset. There is no 24-hour news cycle anymore. Make the rules, post new stuff multiple times per day. Make sure every time people come to your site it is new.
  5. Beatings will continue until morale improves?
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Before this gig I was at a weekly for 4 years (the weekly was shuttered a few weeks ago, which is sad, but I digress).

    What I did was cover a game 6 or 7 days a week and go home and write a gamer (sometimes short, sometimes very long) and post it on our Web site. Because our teams played 3-4 games a week, I knew that the gamer I posted wouldn't be the story that got into the paper because I'd have to do a weekly roundup on any particular team.

    The laziness factor you're dealing with is a whole other issue. You either got it, or you don't got it.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I have that concept down mustang. No offense. And there still is a daily news cycle for individual writers. You just have an immediate deadline instead of one at the end of the night. Unfortunately, I don't work 24/7. Hence, the thread.
  8. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    The paper I'm at now was a twice-weekly before it went daily, and it was three years before the A section covered most anything after 5 p.m., and longer before writers actually wrote something after 5 p.m. for the paper the next day. It was a long time turning that battleship.

    I once was in the office on a Saturday and found out that in Sunday's paper a school board had done something related to sports on a Tuesday. So I talked to the reporter and said, you know, we would have used that in sports. And he looked at me and said, "But then I would have had to come back in."

    Writing it four days later was in his schedule. That was merely the most memorable example.
  9. "Just getting some reporters out of the office is a challenge when most are quite happy to do all of their interviews through phone and e-mail."

    I will never understand why anyone would want to spend any time in any office. If you do, go into a profession that pays you more to look at the same four walls. One thing that makes being a journalist fun is being where the action is, not sitting around an office. And with cellphones and laptops, you can stay in touch with sources and editors.
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    How much are the raises they will be receiving for reporting more often?
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'm sure if they did the work, they'd get a raise.
  12. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member


    I went through something similar when I went from dailies to magazine and was floored by how reporters would spend days writing one-day events. Here are some things I did (besides obviously explaining over and over again) that worked
    1. Increase the demand for enterprise stories. Two things this will do-- one it will get your better writers (if you have any?) who want to do good work to do it. Tell them to constantly be working on them, and you will increase your flow of of stories to the web..and they actually will be thoughtful work. The second thing is it forces your slackers into this situation ..."But Stich, I have so many gamers to write!" Answer, well if you turn your gamers/breaking news over quickly enough then you're off the hook for enterprise. Almost guarantee that the slacker will write the quick-and-easy gamer/breaking news faster than have to do an enterprise story.

    2. Start piling up resumes on your desk. Yeah, motivation through fear is not a fun or likeable card to pull at this time, but its your job and your site that needs to come first. Some of the guys will get the hint.

    3. Show them how it's done. Make an example of going to a game and turning around something quickly and tell them that is how it is done. No one wants to be shown up by their boss and that may help increase production.

    Go all Scientology on them and start beating them (crossthread)
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