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My new lament: Why I miss deadlines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    So, I've been doing this for 14.5 years, and in the early days, two selling points for working on the Internet were A) no hard deadlines, with trucks waiting and publishers waiting to pounce and B) no space issues.

    No. 2 is still a plus, and I think a lot of Internet writers get that taking advantage of it by writing a bunch of crap doesn't do you much good. But I don't miss widow trimming eight lines out of a 20-inch column to make it fit.

    But what seemed like a plus in terms of deadlines no longer seems so, as I was thinking this morning when I was doing some late-night freelance and Jim Irsay decided to tweet about Peyton Manning at 1:30 a.m. In 1985, that wouldn't have mattered (not that there was Twitter anyway) because it would have simply been something to deal with in the next day's paper when the desk came in at 4 or whatever.

    No longer, obviously. Now, it's 24/7, and what seemed like a perk (no deadlines!) is now the opposite. The cycle doesn't end, and everybody is always working, writers too (as we found out during developments in the NBA lockout at 2-3 in the morning).

    So that absolute cutoff, and eight or 12 or 15 hours of relative production peace, is gone for good, and it never occurred to me until recently (duh!) how much I miss it.

    Not even whining or complaining, just observing: Deadline, for all its stress in last hour, was a great thing.

    Signed, Captain Obvious
  2. Filed under "Be careful what you wish for -- you might get it."
  3. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean. I'm in the second week of a new job managing a paper's digital operations and we have a blockbuster trial in town next week. We have "deadlines" spread through the day because we have to get fresh content up at the peak hours.

    I think it will be fun, but I haven't been involved in covering something this competitive in a while so I'm also anxious and stressed.
  4. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    There was something to be said for being done.

    File for the early edition. File for the final edition. Done.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    There is no more "done." "Waiting for something else" is the new done
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Yeah, it's one of the many reasons that I'm glad that I'm done. :D
  8. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    Or, in the parlance I worked in for lo those many years ...

    "Hack, hack, hack, hack, hack, hack, hack, drink."

  9. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Thanks Circus. I think there's something opening up if you want to rejoin the gang. :)
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