Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Working long hours is taking its toll. It's not just about finding stories. Any fool can find a story. It's the production deadlines. Fifteen to twenty stories per week - find them, write them, sub them, process your photos and convert them to eps. Sub the stories and process the photos from your stringers. What's that? Channel Nine news is on the phone and they want confirmation on what? Whether the woman attacked by the shark whilst wading on the reef had a baby on her hip? How would i know? Tell them she had twins, one on each hip. Load up the pages and check the dummy. Start thinking about laying out the pages in Quark. Write a news list. Which stories are going on which pages? Do this before you have the actual stories. Fruitcakes off the streets. Back up your harddrive! Have you sent your story for the State Wrap? Keep your sources happy. Write out your entertainment expenses - a monumental exercise in creative writing. Sort through your daily quota of a hundred emails in the hope of finding two or three relevant media releases. Keep your ear to the ground and your nose to the grindstone. Maintain your records. Answer that phone! It's not just finding the stories and keeping plugged in to what's going down. It's finding the time to photograph, write, subedit, edit, lay out and publish the damn things. "Time management", they call it. Managing to fit 50 hours work into 37.5.

And the invitations! "Dear Mr Reporter, we would like to invite you to the opening of a drawer. Would you mind coming along and taking a few photographs? We have a guest speaker who will be speaking for four and a half hours on strategic best practice in drawer implementation which I am sure your readers would find most interesting. It's on Friday night at 6.30pm and the tickets will cost you $35. We look forward to seeing you."

Oh, you think i am joking, don't you. Obviously you haven't read my paper. Or last week's feature article "The Drawer: Getting A Handle On It".

Stress. It can strike any of us, at any time. Why not set aside a few seconds out of your hectic daily schedule? Just a few seconds, that's all it takes. Close your eyes, and clear your head of all thoughts. You are an island.

You are floating on a cloud.

Now, take a few deep breaths, carefully pull on on your earmuffs, and unload a whole clip of .45 calibre ammunition into a small target. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

There you go. Now, doesn't that feel better?

1 comment:

Christian said...

Hey Mark
I do not blame you...and at the end of the day you ask yourself..why I'm doing it?