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Lots of planning, but too little notice, doesn't do much good for anyone
October 11, 2011 - LLee Janssen
It's 10:40 a.m. and I just sent the only news reporter in the office this morning running out the door to get to a news conference at 11 a.m. on the other side of Hughesville.
I don't know how long the organizers of this event have been planning it, and I'm puzzled as to why they waited until 9:47 p.m. last night to email notification of this to our newsroom. No phone message to alert us to its presence. Just a random email hiding among 143 in my inbox this morning.
A couple of weeks ago, I arrived in the office at 9 a.m. and at 9:05 the phone rang. It was a local government office that had sent out an advisory via email Friday afternoon to the reporter who covers that office. The reporter, having worked Sunday, was off work on Friday, and the email was only sent to him.
"Are you guys coming," the aide at the groundbreaking asked. "To what?" I inquired. As she told me what was going on, I scanned the empty Monday morning office. "I have nobody here to send," I advised her, then asked if she could take a photo and submit it. It was the best I could offer, just like sending the reporter scrambling to an event we knew he would not make on time was the best we could do.
Again, it's another lean morning, this time a Tuesday. The office is mostly vacant, other than lifestyle staff, the editor and myself. Our reporters all have government meetings in places such as Hughesville, Old Lycoming Township, Montoursville and Montgomery tonight, and we staff the office in line with a midnight presstime.
Not all days are like this. Sometimes I wonder if the local government agencies conspire to meet on the second Mondays and Tuesdays of the month so that we can't make it everywhere and something will fall through the cracks.
But that's life in the newsroom. Now if I could just get a little advance notice on those staged "news" events. Please, a little cooperation and we'll be more than happy to tell your stories.
The first stop in the newsroom should be the News Desk, 326-1551, Extension 3115. The next stop could be an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Go ahead and copy the reporter you know, too, but be sure to get to the News Desk to assure your event gets covered.
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