Dead to me: Alligator Special Editions

Allow me to express my hatred of the Alligator’s 40-odd page special editions.

I guess I shouldn’t whine. After all, college students still read campus newspapers — which is why we have enough ads to print 40-page editions in the first place.

But last year when I was copy desk chief, I called the then-editor in tears from the Alligator’s bathroom after working a 12-hour day and still having multiple pages to edit. The culprit? The New Student Edition, which we mail to freshmen before the fall semester starts.

I can’t even look at the New Student Edition anymore. It gives me PTSD.

So, this year, as the homecoming edition approached, I embraced my inner bad cop.

Stories would be due two days before the paper, I mandated. Photo requests should be filled out in a timely manner. We had stories written on the white board and a system for assigning them.

I discussed my phobia of special editions with the staff during our many homecoming meetings.

“Thus, if stories are not in on time, heads will roll,” I said in my scary voice.

And suddenly, the homecoming edition was upon us. All the section editors were terrified about filling space.

Filling out the budget tonight, I had to cut stories or put them online-only. I had the page schedules turned in to production two hours early — we even finished the paper before deadline.

The moral of the story? Organization counts.

And scaring people doesn’t hurt, either.

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1 Comment

Filed under Editing, Managing

One response to “Dead to me: Alligator Special Editions

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Sites for Online Journalism Students « Journalism 3.0

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