On Monday mornings, I get up and check my email. If I have worked over the weekend, I
usually only have 30 or 40 unread messages. If I haven’t, it’s usually in the 60 to 70 range. I start at the bottom and go through them, filing stories that have come in to copy desk for editing, answering questions (or complaints) from readers, passing messages along to writers and filing reader submissions away.
Then it’s time for meetings and interviews, then looking at my story list to see what hasn’t come in yet and touching base with the assigned writers.
On Tuesday I repeat the email process. Inevitably a story will have fallen through, so I make phone calls and do the interviews for those stories myself. I start filing through the stories coming in from copy, putting them in their appropriate folders, reviewing edits and getting in touch with writers and sources to ensure information is accurate and stories readable. Later in the day, usually around 8 or 9 p.m, the “book” comes out – a digital mock up of the paper – and I stay up to place the stories and send the files to the designer so she has them first thing in the morning.
On Wednesday I am taking in last minute stories, talking to copy desk and writing my own stories – usually one or two a week. Simultaneously, I’m working on answering those never-ending emails, planning stories, covers and photography for the next several weeks and assigning them.
On Thursdays, I put out last minute fires, answer emails from stressed out writers who have missed deadlines or think they are going to miss deadlines or who forgot they have a deadline at all (as we have all done).
I finish up my own stories and put them into the lay out, put up the files for the last stories the designer hasn’t received yet, track down photos, captions and tidbits of information that either didn’t come in or got lost in the shuffle.
I write indexes, headlines and subheads, then go through my news releases to make sure I haven’t missed anything important event-wise for next week because I’m already running out of time to assign for the coming issue.
On Friday, the proofs go up. I go over the first one, making sure stories have the right headlines, that captions are properly spelled, that the right byline runs, that last minute – sometimes panicked – corrections go in.
While corrections and changes to this proof are made, I plan for the next weeks, sometimes a month in advance, answer (the never ending) emails, file things for next week, update my story list and work on a newsletter.
Then I look over the second proof – once this proof is okayed, nothing can be changed without literally calling the press and having them correct it manually, a time consuming, annoying process for everyone involved, so it needs to be right. Once that’s approved, the pages are sent away and I finish my work week by securing the last few stories for next week when I will begin this process all over again.
And then there is beer. Sweet, glorious beer. And sleep. Possibly fishing. Then it is Monday again.
And that’s how the paper gets made, editorially speaking - there are hours more of hard work for the people in sales, copy desk and layout. In this constantly rotating cycle, I make mistakes all the time. Sometimes I miss a caption, or print an incorrect byline. Sometimes I forget to answer an email and it just sits there and sits there (if I’ve ever done that to you, I’m genuinely sorry) or neglect to answer a phone call. Sometimes I just plain get a detail wrong, some little detail that will wake me up in the middle of the night and think damn, I missed a comma, just like, when I was a server, I’d wake up suddenly at 3 a.m. and think damn, I forgot to bring table seven mayonnaise.
I love my job- but it’s time for me to go on on vacation. The responsibility of the paper will fall on the shoulders of the lovely and talented Ms. Meagan Deuling. Many of you already know Meagan, as she was the assistant editor at What’s Up Yukon previously and is a frequent broadcaster for CBC Yukon. She’s going to be very busy for the next few weeks and she’s going to take good care of What’s Up Yukon while I’m away.
Have a fabulous five weeks Whitehorse. And be nice to Meagan while I’m away. She’s a hard-working and fabulous lady.
See you in July!