Time is the enemy by Anna
February 28, 2009, 11:58 am
Filed under: Anna | Tags: , ,

I know Russ talked about our issue with deadlines a couple of times last week, but I wanted to weigh in on the issue as, well, sort of a devil’s advocate.

We produce an issue every Wednesday, the middle of the week. After signing up for stories, most of us have one or two classes that afternoon and/or night, usually lasting into the evening. So that afternoon is shot. The next two days are filled with classes and work, which doesn’t allow much time dedicated for stories, at least not in-person interviews, which we would prefer.

That means that most articles are written during the weekend (not business hours, obviously) or on Monday. We have very talented writers in our program, but given that our deadline is usually late Monday night, one day to write a story can be difficult, especially when we demand heavy multimedia.

Since I am the Flash-0bsessed member of our cohort, this can be even more frustrating. Flash takes time. Not even that… creating the wireframes to base the Flash on takes time. Design takes more time. Execution… even more. I posted last week on my blog that I was creating a timeline for Black History Month, but unfortunately my Monday and Tuesday were completely filled with work, and even though the reporter got the information to my by Tuesday afternoon, having everything ready to go by publish time on Wednesday was next to impossible. Coffey did me a favor by pulling the plug on that one, otherwise I would have been even more stressed out and tired come production time.

I suppose my point of this entry is to remind people that the American Observer is not the only thing we do, and that perhaps our problem isn’t meeting deadlines, but rather communicating to editors when we have problems. I like that we have started teaming up to cover stories so that the responsibility doesn’t just fall on one set of shoulders. I think that’s an easy first-step to our problem.

So take heart, Observers and Observer fans. This is a learning process.

Cross posted to Escapador and American Observer.

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