Saturday, May 1

the newspaper business

yesterday was a very busy day at the office. being friday, we sent the paper to press in the morning, with the usual routine. then my attention immediately turned to gathering together and formatting all the horse edition material so i could give it to design girl t by the end of the day.

although our regular weekly paper is on newsprint, the annual horse edition that we put together every spring is 48 pages printed in a magazine format. it's fun to produce, because it's an opportunity to have higher-quality color, which means the photos print way better. choosing photos for newsprint can be limiting.

one would think the hardest part of managing a newspaper would be the writing, but really it's the details. it takes a long time to read through everything, making changes as i go, then making sure the right photos are in the right folders, and that they have the right captions labeled for them. it's pretty easy to do for the articles i write myself, and am familiar with, but there are three other people who wrote for our horse edition and it's hard to keep all the editorial straight when they send it to me in multiple emails with multiple notes. not complaining, it's just time-consuming.

basically, it's my job to straighten it all out and get it formatted and consistent with the roundup filing system, so when design girl t takes it off the share drive she's got everything exactly where it needs to be. i consider it a job well done if she doesn't need to call with questions.

it surprises me how much time i can use up on the organizing, planning and details. you know, the whole, 'well, i was busy all day but i'm not really sure what i did.'

so that's the hard part of my job. the fun, and easy part, is getting out in the country and visiting with people. as i left for thursday's lance creek trip - two hours from casper in eastern wyoming, and assist editor h's home grounds - i found myself worrying about everything i still needed to do in the office, and felt like i was wasting a day going out for those interviews. but really - that's what keeps our paper going. getting out and meeting the ag people in the state and establishing relationships, and it really is enjoyable. aside from it being a pretty blustery day, i had two good visits with the miller family and the manning family. the millers breed quarter horses, and the mannings trade horses.

as it stands, i have three articles i still need to write and email to design girl t this weekend. then we'll see where we're at with editorial. assist editor h and i might need to whip out one or two more articles on monday, if we have space left to fill.

the edition should be all put together, with final proofs made, and sent to press by may 14. it's always a rewarding day when we get it back and get to flip through it - the result of many long hours of hard work put in by our editorial, advertising and design staff alike.

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