… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Each newsroom has a distinctive aroma. Ours is a combination of perspiration, diet soda and the occasional waft of cigarette smoke carried in by our editor after she returns from “following up on a lead.” That changed today, thanks to a package that arrived addressed to me. To be honest, ever since receiving dozens of unsolicited fruitcakes (the loaf) in the mail and through my car windows after writing about FDAD (Fruitcake Disposal Anxiety Disorder) a few years ago, I am suspicious of any package that arrives for me that doesn’t come from Amazon.com. Continue reading

Advertisements

… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

As I’m sure you can imagine, being a newspaper columnist I am literally inundated each day with hundreds of emails. I then go through these messages one by one and, after deleting all the male enhancement offers, take time to respond to the occasional email sent by an actual reader. Oftentimes these emails are in response to a specific column that resonated with them, made them laugh or gave them a different persepctive. Some will even include the column in their email, along with a personal note, such as:

“Why can’t YOU write stuff like this, you HACK!” Continue reading

This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Any journalist will tell you a well-written headline can mean the difference between getting your story at the top of the fold on Page 1, or settling for a small corner next to a press release for the Moose Lodge spaghetti feed. In fact, headlines are so important that some newspapers have editors who do nothing but come up with catchy titles to hook readers.

Not here at Siuslaw News.

We don’t even have a poofreader. Continue reading

This Just In…

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

The term “news hole” is often used by journalists. This shouldn’t be confused with another, similar-sounding term that is just as often used by journalists, usually when they think the editor isn’t listening. In this case, however, “news hole” refers to the space remaining in a newspaper after the ads have been placed. It’s our job as journalists to fill that space with stories, press releases and, when some newspapers find it necessary, my humor column.

As I’m sure you can imagine, a “news hole” gets larger or smaller, fluctuating in size depending on how tightly packed it is with advertising.

Ok, it’s probably a good idea to stop using your imagination now. Continue reading

… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Even though we’re a small community newspaper, we are located at the intersection of two major state highway arteries connecting the valley to the central Oregon coast. In fact, instead of our current newspaper slogan…

Siuslaw News — Your source for local news. Twice weekly. Unless we lose count

… there was serious talk about:

Siuslaw News — The heartbeat of local news and events. From the coast’s main artery. All in one stroke. Continue reading

Another example of why I will eventually get fired

imageEvery press release that comes here to Siuslaw News crosses my desk and computer monitor at some point. That’s because, among my duties as a humor columnist is typing up things like obituaries, ambulance reports and other things that fall under the “humor umbrella.” At least, that’s how it’s been explained to me. This also includes public service announcements, which sometimes arrive as a hand-written note on a stained cocktail napkin.

When I asked why this is considered part of the coverage area under the “humor umbrella,” my editor explained it’s because my having to figure out someone’s scrawl on an ink-bled napkin “IS FUNNY!” Continue reading

… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Being a journalist at a small newspaper means, in addition to writing stories and taking photos, you also layout and build the pages. And clean the toilets. But for purposes of this post, we’ll stick to this afternoon’s page-building incident, which began when I made a “filler ad” to take up a tiny space on the page too small for anything else… Continue reading

… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

There’s nothing like deadline days at a newspaper. Except maybe closing an oven door on your head repeatedly for 8 to 10 hours. It is a day filled with split-second decisions, each of which can lead to rippling ramifications in terms of overall ink usage. Today was a true test of our abilities as a news room: A key story had fallen through; we were down one reporter; and we were completely out of Cheetos in our vending machine. It was in essence, the “perfect storm” scenario when my editor called me into her office… Continue reading

… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Ok, in what is quite possibly the most irrelevant moment in our newsroom so far this year — which is saying a lot — I thought I would share Halloween photos of some folks who work here at Siuslaw News.

Oddly, I took these photos in September… Continue reading

… This Just In …

image

…TAT-tat-tat-TAT-TAT-tat-tat-TAT…

[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Each week, our entire editorial staff — all four of us — gathers for a meeting to discuss what we’ll be reporting on, any upcoming news-worthy events, and individual assignments. After 15 years, my editor has learned to stop asking why I attend these meetings. Case in point: Today’s editorial meeting… Continue reading