Not much to report today. My afternoon was consumed by meeting a U.S. Senator who was in Kinston to tour a local plant that’s supposed to be a big deal. I got in a couple health care questions afterwards, but it was the same old rhetoric. Nothing to report there.
Oh and my women in law enforcement piece is coming together nicely. Should make for interesting Sunday reading, although the boss told me he didn’t know why it was a story. Apparently I’m wrong for thinking finding women who have jobs in industries besides cheerleading and modeling intriguing. No idea why a feature on women cops would be of interest to people.
I also caught Hell for spending too much time on it, by the way. Silly me.
Enough about that. It was a massive source of contention this week juuuust in case you couldn’t tell.
I’m beginning to think it’s going to take a generation of journalists willing to roll up their sleeves and endure working conditions painful on both financial and emotional levels. Paper’s losing money. Not enough to hire a full staff. But the paper still needs as many stories as it did at full staff.
Thus, the dilemma, and the reason I “spent too much time” on my Sunday centerpiece: quantity is more important than quality.
This leads to frustration. No one’s satisfied with their work because they’re stretched too thin to do something to be proud of. I know I am. Investigations, enterprise stuff take time … and that’s something we don’t have these days.
Overtime is too expensive for the boss men to allow. We just got a corporation-wide pay cut to stay afloat.
Regardless, if we don’t buckle down and find a way, we won’t get through this, meaning the paper will cease to exist for sure. I know I wouldn’t spend money on a subscription for our paper … would have two years ago, though.
Time to roll up those sleeves and work some for free.
Links within stories would be a good, simple start at this. A way to separate us from the TV sites, it‘d make it easier for people to read back stories, which would take up less print in the front stories. It’d mean more time on stories and a fully-staffed paper would probably have some Web site guy or gal to do this, but like I said – do what you’ve got to do.
The video thing’s never going to get off the ground at our paper. I’ve tried. Lord knows I’ve tried. But unless a video with a story is something readers can count on, they’re not going to go looking for it on the Web site. I write probably 20 percent of the stories in that paper … since I’m the only one who semi-regularly shoots video, that means 80 to 90 percent of the stories don’t have them. See what I mean?
Still, there’s no substitute for content. That’s the number one thing that keeps a medium alive. And we’re just not getting the content these days.