By Christina Dempsey, Senior Account Coordinator I have not always been a newspaper reader. In fact, before this year, I had never consistently read a newspaper. I didn’t read the comics as a kid or the college newspaper as a student. Sure I read magazines and books, maybe an article here and there, and watched the evening news but never really read the paper.
At Sara’s urging, I became a subscriber to the local newspaper. It has quickly become a daily habit, as much a part of my morning ritual as my cup of coffee.
Reading the paper is, without a doubt, the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten. It informs my perceptions, as well as my conversations, and has deepened my bond with the city in which I was raised in a way I never imagined.
While I have grown to appreciate the paper’s role in my life, I never quite understood the work that goes in to each article. So yesterday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., Sara gave me an assignment. I had three hours to gather information and write a news story about two new businesses that have recently opened on Park Avenue.
I immediately knew where I could go for information and who I could call for comments, but even armed with that lead, I was still wholly unprepared for the task at hand.
I drank a cappuccino, Turkish latte and shot of espresso while “sourcing” information. By the time I sat down to write, I was on the verge of a caffeine-induced heart attack and was missing key facts. I went with what I had, threw my thoughts together and pressed send - 13 minutes past the deadline.
Needless to say, I have a whole new appreciation for journalism.
The work that goes into each article, whether a two inch blurb or two page feature, is enormous. It is truly a craft, built upon more than just knowing where to find information, but on what questions to ask and which leads to follow. And it’s all done under a looming deadline.
The ink and paper news industry is struggling to define its future in an age dominated by the internet. But while the readership may be moving to new platforms, the information is still as relevant as ever. My generation just might need a little extra push to become subscribers.