Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Opinion

January 24, 2014

Hard work and shining light on dark corners

JACKSONVILLE — Newsrooms of today may not be like the image you have in your mind.

There are no smoke-filled rooms with fast-talking reporters and editors hovered over desks arguing over the best angle to take on a breaking story.

We do brainstorm, though. And some of us do talk fast ... it's probably a side effect of our fast-paced environment.

We don't have a bottle of rum or whiskey in every other desk drawer. Although, the late Hunter S. Thompson was one of the best investigative writers of his time (The Rum Diary), most newspapers of today's era no longer allow DWW's (drinking while writing).

We don't smoke cigars or get into the middle of political showdowns ... but I do love the imagery of journalists seen in "Citizen Kane." And what a difference the newspapers of that time made in their communities!

To note, we don't tend to be rich, either. Surprisingly, most reporters at small to medium newspapers make less than the average teacher.

And we aren't the cold-hearted souls we're sometimes made out to be by those who find themselves in the headlines.

Nope.

We are human just like you, and some days after a hard day's work or a particularly touching story, we go home and have a good cry.

To quote one of my favorite movie lines, with a slight adaptation, "There's no crying ... there's no crying in the newsroom."

After 12 years in this business, I've also come to realize that there is definitely no pleasing everyone ... and on some days, anyone.

My defense? Write the facts. Admit to a mistake/typo if necessary. Move on.

We run around like chickens with our heads cut off on most days. A lot of work goes into making The Daily Progress a reality each day.

Pages have to be designed, and the stories have to be gathered, written, edited, laid out onto the page, then fit into the space allotted. We then have to print the page (within our system), proofread it again, make sure it is dropped into the color or black & white section, proofread it again as a PDF file and then, FINALLY, approve the page in order for the press to begin printing (And yes I have had to stop the presses before ... it's not as exciting as portrayed in the movies).

Then ... we wait. When the press person says all of our pages are OK, we begin publication of our E-edition online and our website.

There are currently just a few responsible for all of the duties described above. We regret daily stories that have to be put on the back burner or not considered because there isn't enough time in our day.

However, we try to put Jacksonville news first and foremost on our pages. If you are not a subscriber already, we hope you will join us.

We hope you will follow us online at www.jacksonvilleprogress.com and on Facebook at Daily Progress Newsroom. We are also on Twitter!

April Barbe is the editor of The Daily Progress. She has also worked for the Longview News-Journal and The Daily Sentinel in Nacogdoches. She may be reached by e-mail at editor@jacksonvilleprogress.com.

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