From the Editor’s Notebook:
Having a deadline is a big deal in the weekly newspaper biz.
Sure, most businesses have deadlines of some sort or other. Got to get that order shipped out by Tuesday, or need to finish that job by the end of the week.
I get it. Everybody faces deadlines. Even retired people say they still feel some deadline pressure. Although, for the life of me, I am not sure what that might be. Maybe it is the pressure to get to the coffee shop by 10 a.m.
But in the newspaper business, deadlines can’t be missed, and are relentless.
Get one edition off to the press and we are immediately thinking about the next one. In fact, most of the time we are thinking two, three, four or more weeks out.
Starting mid-March we will have six special sections and a Community Focus magazine to sell ads for, write stories for, and design the pages. So, we are starting work on all of those maybe a couple of weeks before they happen.
The good thing about deadlines is that they keep procrastination to a minimum. Sort of. Human nature is to leave things until they absolutely have to be done. We do that in the newspaper business, but it only works to a point.
That deadline is always looming. For us, that deadline is Friday morning when the paper has to be sent to the press in Madelia. And I mean has to be sent.
We work hard on Thursdays to get the Faribault County Register all put together, proofread, double checked and ready to go Friday morning.
Except, there are always snags along the way. Maybe a late ad that HAS to get in. Or an obituary, or two. Perhaps there was a huge news story, a fire or a crash, that happened Thursday night. Yep, we might have to tear things apart and remake a page or two, even the front page.
Then there are the late news events which are slated for Thursday night. We often save room for them, especially sports, and then hope there isn’t a blizzard that night which prevents the event from happening or we can’t get the information in time.
That actually happens quite often.
This week’s edition, which are you reading right now, will be all ready to go by Thursday night, except for a great big space to put a story and photos about the Buccaneer wrestlers team results from the State Tournament.
Or at least, I sure hope so.
But then, the results of the State Individual Wrestling Tournament will not be in the Register until the following week. The reason, of course, is that those matches don’t happen until Friday and Saturday.
So, the individual wrestling results inside this edition are the results from the Section 2A Meet and the fact that Blue Earth Area has seven wrestlers who will be competing at State.
(And probably, by the time you are reading this column, the tournament will be over.)
See the problems we face each and every week?
The results of the State Individual Tournament will be in next week’s Register with full stories and with photos. A synopsis will be posted on our website and Facebook page before that, however.
Another example is the story this week about Blue Earth’s new city administrator. Or maybe the new administrator.
While we covered the City Council’s special meeting after the interviews were all completed and the council voted to choose Kim Moore and to offer her a contract for the position, we can’t positively state in the story or in the headline that she is the new administrator for the city of Blue Earth.
Moore still has to accept the contract and agree to the terms, and even then it is not finished. The Blue Earth City Council would still have to approve it at their next meeting, which is Monday night, March 2.
That might not even happen, if Moore and the city don’t come to terms right off the bat. So, whenever it is a done deal, we will let you know in as many ways as we can.
Hopefully we will get the final information before next week Friday when we have that inevitable deadline.
And here is a little bonus for those of you have read the entire column and didn’t give up part way through.
There is not a real definite story about how the term “deadline” came to be.
But, the most interesting story is that it came from the Civil War.
It seems that at the Andersonville Confederate prison for Union soldiers, there was not a lot of security. Guards drew a line in the dirt and called it the deadline.
Any prisoner who stepped across this deadline was immediately shot and killed, no warning or second chance.
Now, I am reasonably sure I won’t be shot if I miss the deadline for the Register this week, but I am also reasonably sure I don’t want to find out.