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how do i make a veteran meet deadline without being a jerk?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by EGM67, Sep 6, 2008.

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  1. EGM67

    EGM67 New Member

    i have had my job as sports editor for a paper for about two months now. just last week we started our friday night high school football coverage. all my writers and photogs are great on deadline except for one guy. he has been with the paper for about 20 years and is really, really slow. he has kept us from meeting deadline two weeks in a row.

    my question is, how do i make him meet deadline? the guy is at least 20 years older than me, and he is a respected journalist in our area. he does a great job on everything but his friday night deadline.

    i don't want to be an ass to a guy who has been covering sports since i was in elementary school, but he needs to get his stuff in on time.
  2. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    Is he in the office while writing? It's possible he's not even aware of your deadlines.

    It's best to just tell him up front when you need the story, before the game even starts. If he's a respected journalist, I doubt he'll give you much guff.
  3. EGM67

    EGM67 New Member

    he knows the deadline. he is just slow.

    i just don't know how to tell him to speed it up without sounding like a prick.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You are the boss, tell him very simply:
    "If I don't have your copy by 10:30 (or whatever 30 minutes before the papers closes), it doesn't get in the paper."
    At 10:30 you tell him, "Give me what you've got now or we go without it."
    When he files at 10:50, "Sorry, page is closed. It's too late to get in now."

    If you're blwoing deadline every Friday becuase of this guy, isn't somebody above you -- who are ultimately responsible -- giving you shit for being late all the time?
    Pass the shit down.
  5. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    You probably have to suck it up and tell him. That goes with the job. If it was me, I might not like the news but I'd ultimately want to know. We have a "veteran guy" (almost 30 years) who is really slow, he admits it, the desk jokes/bitches about it and yet he's still really slow. His stories are usually pretty good but he pushes the deskers to the limit. Good luck.
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Stand in front of him and yell. That's what I do...

    (ok, spnited's way would work better, I suppose)
  7. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    You're the boss, sir. Sometimes you have to be a dick. That's why you're paid extra, or so I hear.

    He doesn't like it? Either he works faster or he's on the desk on Friday night. You gotta hit deadline. If he's been there 20 years, he knows that.
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Word for word.

    If you're the SE, then in cases like this, you have the title and therefore have to tell a writer that he/she needs to meet deadline. Period. Otherwise, find a filler story and move on.

    It's good that you want to be respectful. But if this writer has been there 20 years, then he/she is not being respectful of the department's deadline. Therefore, you're not out of line to say something.
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    The solution is very simple.Tell him that he's too slow and you need his copy faster. If that is a problem, then you have to decide where to move him so that he won't hurt production. If its out the door, then it's out the door. Either way, you don't let anyone take you or your product down.
  10. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    No offense, but you guys sound like a-holes. The guy is a veteran. He does a great job. He's respected in the area. And you want to treat him like a 9-year-old? My opinion? Don't "tell" him anything. Treat him with the respect he seems to have earned over two decades.

    Sit down with him during the week and discuss the problems that are being caused by the missed deadlines. See if he's aware of it and the problems it's causing. If so? Talk about possible solutions with him.

    If he's a jerk about it, then pull the "I'm the boss" power play. If he's willing to work with you, work with him.
  11. He knows the deadlines and he's not hitting them, Reacher. If he's been in the biz 20 years, he knows damn well how important it is to make deadline.

    Remind him one more time, very firmly. Not angrily, just firmly. Stress how important it is he hit deadline.

    Have something else ready Friday night, and when he doesn't have his story to you, go without it.

    You're the SE. Be the SE.
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    No offense but that's bullshit. The bottom line is this, veteran, rookie or what have you, GET THE JOB DONE. I have no problem with sitting him down and talking with him about the problem. Communication is extremely important and journalists are the worst communicators.
    However, the guy has to do the work. There's not getting around that. There are too many people out here who can meet deadline who are unemployed. Either he does it or gets replaced or removed. It's just that simple.
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