New schedule affects more than stories
At the time of writing this column this week, we are 14 days into our new printing schedule. In the past, we printed at around 11 a.m., which meant that you the reader received your finished product around 5 p.m. once delivered. Now, we print at about 1 a.m., which means you the reader can get your paper delivered by late morning.
This is both a blessing and a curse. First off, I am getting more sleep, which does not affect you, but makes me happier because I awaken feeling more refreshed. Second, I think a schedule of covering a game, getting back to the office to write the story, edit it and then put it on the page right away is an interesting challenge and one that I actually enjoy.
Of course, with the accelerated deadlines, there are some hiccups to work our way through. Those earlier deadlines mean we will likely have less local content immediately for the next morning’s paper. It is not easy to get game recaps together quickly when we are all out covering an event. At full capacity, we can cover four events a night. That will not happen every night, as our stringer, Paul Peterson is not available every night. Also, given some of my other duties, I cannot make it to events every night either.
That may be changing in the near future, however. As you may remember, I took over as the assistant editor about six to eight months after Mariah Powell left. That meant that, for much of the past year or so, I have been essentially out of sports. That changed when Bryce Derouin and Eden Laase left us within a week of each other.
I have taken over the sports editor duties along with being the assistant editor. That added significantly to my schedule, and also explains why I have not written as I had in the past.
In fact, I have two or three stories yet to write that I conducted interviews for in December, but they are coming and hopefully will be worth reading once finished.
Our two new sports writers, Eddie O’Neill and Jamie Glenn are both learning on the fly. I think both are improving and are getting used to the new schedule as well.
I write all of this to help explain why we need our local coaches to help us out now more than ever. In the past, we have had coaches get us information after their home games. When they do so, we can get at least a brief in the next morning.
This year, some coaches have been really good about getting in touch with us; regrettably, others have not. I apologize for delays in our coverage, but this has been the reality this year.
Some coaches have taken to getting us information whether they are at home or on the road. This is great. In our business, it is always better to have too much information than not enough.
If you the reader think that you are noticing that we are shortchanging a school, it is not intentional. Most often, it is a breakdown in communication. We ask that if you feel this way, a simple solution is to email us a score and maybe even a few stats. We will find somewhere to print it.
We take pride in what we do. The Daily Mining Gazette is not the New York Times or the Washington Post. We are a small town newspaper, and we do this more out of love than for the pay. Our aim is to be as thorough as possible in getting to you the types of stories you enjoy reading.
My desire is to continue to strengthen our local coverage, something I feel we have lost a little bit over the past few years. We have some amazing stories out there waiting to be told, whether they are about the Dollar Bay boys basketball team’s help in their hometown during the flood recovery, or the Calumet football team going 9-0 during the regular season, or the Chassell girls basketball team’s amazing run to the state final. We also have area athletes doing some fantastic things on a national or international stage whose stories we will be passing on to you in the coming weeks.