Working in journalism means few, if any, days that are the same. Different stories, different assignments, different locations — all part of each and every day.
Tuesday of this week provided a good example of what I do as a newspaperman for The Floyd Press: A full day with three assignments beginning with coverage of Circuit Court in the morning, shooting photos of a junior varsity softball game at Floyd County High School in the afternoon and coverage of the county Board of Supervisors at night.
As with most days, the activities began at 0500 (5:00 a.m. EDT) with coffee in hand in front of multiple computer screens, editing copy, selecting stories that came in overnight, writing headlines and determining the layout of the home page of Capitol Hill Blue — a national political news site I started in 1994 and is today the oldest web site devoted to political coverage.
Next comes writing the lead story for home page of Blue Ridge Muse, the local site for Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia, Tuesday’s piece looked at the tragic suicide of Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff and the rise in cyberbullying that appears to have driven her to kill herself. Cyberbullying is a problem in this area too.
It time permits, I worked some of the other dozen web sites I have. Instead, I fired up our Wrangler and drove five miles to the county courthouse for Circuit Court, which runs on each Tuesday of the month.
The story for the day’s court activities will appear in Thursday’s Floyd Press.
Had time to write the story and send it via email to editor Wanda Combs before checking two of my cameras, loading them in the Wrangler and headed for the softball field to photograph the JV Lady Buffaloes game with the Glenvar Highlanders.
A little over two hours of shooting and the game was tied 1-1 and heading into extra innings when I had to head over to the county administration for the second monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors, which began at 7:00 p.m.
The Board if struggling to balance the county’s $34 million plus budget for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1 and started their work session with a $336,000 deficit. When the meeting adjourned as 10 p.m. approached, they had managed to trim about $8,000 and a lot of work remains when the board meets again in their first monthly meeting on the second Tuesday of May.
A full story on the budget work and other activities of the board will appear in Thursday’s Floyd Press.
Home and at my workstation by 10:30 p.m. Amy had dinner ready as I loaded the pictures into the computer and monitored the five primaries for the Presidency to select overnight stories for Blue.
Hit the bed around 12:30 a.m. today and rose again at 0550 to start writing this piece for Muse after editing new stories for Muse and will begin writing the story on the supervisors meeting shortly.
A new day, new things to do.