I survived budget season

Hello,

I know that I’ve missed another two months or so, but I think I should start blogging more again.There are no excuses for me. I was busy, but I had time and chose not to blog. Simple as that. It’s quite lame actually. I have no problem saying that.

So, now it’s July and things have slowed down considerably in the newsroom.

When I first got to the Chronicle my fellow reporters and my editors would joke about how hard it was finding stories in the summer. I didn’t really think twice about it, until now. I have found that there is quite a slow down, but not to where I am desperate yet. I am getting the 10-14 inch stories that fill the paper. Nothing really too groundbreaking, but stories that are still interesting and meaningful. Disclaimer: nothing is better than seeing your byline in the paper each and every day.

I have made it my “mission” to continue to have two stories a day for Mike and to make sure they are the two best that I can offer that day. Last week was tough, with the Fourth being in the middle of the week, but I really was okay. I had to think outside the box, but I had my two stories each day.

Finding story ideas really takes on a whole new meaning when you have no meetings for almost three weeks. It’s tough. There really wasn’t anything to prepare me for it. My coworkers joked about it, but I’ve gone on as I have for the last six months.

During budget season I would have at least one budget story a day. Small or not, each change to a town’s budget is a story. Of course, if they weren’t newsworthy Mike would let me know.  That made life easier because that “pressure” wasn’t there to fill the paper. Summertime is where feature stories seem to flourish, while the hard news seems to hide under a rock. It’s amazing to see that as it’s happening. You can see more pictures in the paper now. The news seems to not be the main focus, but it’s obviously still there.

Some mornings I make the calls to each town to see what’s happening, but usually that’s just to say “Hi” and see what’s going on. I want to make an effort to visit my town halls more often. My editors have talked about how, when they were reporters, they would go out to their town halls and just talk. It’s all about who you know and if they like you, they said. The more you go and “visit” them, the more likely that source will call you back on deadline or give you that “tip” to a potential story. It’s not rocket science, but if you don’t try you won’t know, right?

Granted, the hours now are tighter for the summer, but I am really going to try and make that effort to get out there and get to know all the “voices” in the town hall. After you’ve called someone 15 times on deadline, it’s nice to go and say “hi” to them and say thanks, right? I can’t even count how many times I’ve tried to track people down in each town and left countless messages with staff and/or e-mails. Eventually, they get back to you, but sometimes it’s after deadline. Other times they aren’t in a meeting or busy. You never know.  I think those people see the effort and want to help out, but their job comes first. At least I’d like to think so.

Budget season was fun. I’ll do another post on that later today (I hope).

Just wanted to get some things down here first to get back into blogging again. I always told myself I didn’t have time to do it, but I’ve missed it.

Consider me back…. for good.

Jonathan

And if you want to see my clips for most of May, all of June and the beginning of July.. check out this page.

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3 Responses to I survived budget season

  1. atelljd says:

    Sounds really exciting!

    A.Tell

    • Hi!

      Thanks for reading!

      It is pretty exciting. I really try to keep it interesting. Not everyone likes budget season, but someone will always read it! right?

      Jonathan

  2. Pingback: I Miss Budget Season « Just Starting Out

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