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Where do you find the time and energy?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Prince of Persia, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. So I was on newsday.com earlier today reading about the clusterfuck that was the Giants game Sunday. I like reading Arthur Staple's stuff. He's nice and simple and an easy read. He also writes a blog, which just about every beat writer does these days, but he also did a video report from the Meadowlands. Is this a new responsibility beat writers will have in this digital age? Are more papers going to start doing this? I just find it amazing the way a lot of these beat guys juggle and mostly excel in these new responsibilities that are put upon then. Write a 18-20 inch gamer, notebook, blog and then give a 5-minute video report about the game. Yes, I know it's part of the job. These guys have to have some great time management skills and energy to do all those things. I don't know why I'm so in awe of it, but I am. But does something suffer here? Do you risk burning out your top beat guys? Do you get less than stellar writing because these guys (and gals) are pulled in so many different directions? I know this has been talked about before, but seeing the video report got me thinking again.
  2. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    I can't speak from experience (although, word is, we're headed the video direction soon), but my gut says that something has to suffer. Now you don't have that extra ten minutes to read through your story again. You don't have that few extra minutes to sit and collect your breath and your thoughts when you get back from the locker room...

    It seems to me that if all these extra multimedia things -videos, blogs, slideshows etc. - have to get done, all within 40 hours each week, that consumers are getting a much more rushed total product.
  3. Damaramu

    Damaramu Member

    Within 40 hours? I certainly work more than 40 hours and most journalists I meet work more than 40 hours. Though I wish that's all I worked. But it balances itself out I guess. Some weeks you work 60 and some you only work 20.
  4. Going off the looks of the better majority of writers I know, putting them in video is not only punishing them but also the readers/viewers.

    We haven't stepped into that age just yet. I dread the day we do.
  5. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

  6. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    I worded my post poorly, I think. I never work only 40. Never. I think its a shame that additional responsibilities keep popping up, and with the purse-holders tightening up on overtime pay, we all pretend its all getting done in just 40.
  7. dragonzo

    dragonzo Guest

    As an SE who has to cover games, proof pages, do video and post blogs, in addition to all the other duties of the job ... I can guarantee the product can suffer. Not that I don't bust ass to make sure everything comes out well at the end of the night, but there are still plenty of nights I drive home thinking, "OK, what did we miss tonight?" And then comes that sigh of relief -- or, sometimes, that grinding of teeth at some stupid mistake -- the next morning.
  8. Rex Harrison

    Rex Harrison Member

    I didn't. I said 'fuck it' and got out full-time journalism last year to help my dad manage his store and freelance.
  9. The 40-hour week is a myth, obviously. But that's not what I feel pressured by. It's the fact that someone is always, always, always waiting on something from me - usually multiple things. Story A, Story B, Podcast, proof some stories on a desk shift, but do you also have Story C written? It's not getting things done in 40, 50 or 60 hours a week that puts the strain on me. It's that every single thing is made to feel like it needs to be done right this second. I read over a story for clarity/mistakes, and I just feel the editor standing over me, tapping his foot, whether he's five feet from me or hundreds of miles from me. That's what burns me out, and probably others, as well, judging from this thread.
  10. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member


    I can't tell you how many times I've started swearing this season because I've been in the middle of a story or an interview or planning or whatever and had to drop everything to blog some minor item ASAP to make sure the competition didn't get it on their site first.

    And I'm not talking breaking news. I'm talking league player of the week honors, starting time for an upcoming event, etc. This is stuff that in the past would get in the notes but today if you don't post it first you're viewed as slacking.

    And the worst thing? Often times we don't even run it in the paper the next day because it's already in the blog. ::)
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    This is the new news cycle, though. The business has changed. And if video ever really takes off -- look out. That takes a lot more time than rewriting a press release.
  12. Absolutely correct. At some point, however, they have to begin adding staff, or else there are going to be a whole lot of burned-out sports writers. Which leads to more mistakes, carelessness, and early exit from the business. Beat writing can be an exhausting endeavor to begin with, particularly the NBA and MLB. But adding all the frills and expecting it done yesterday - oh, and by the way, no raises this year, sorry for your luck - is flirting with morale disaster.
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