Tag Archives: investigative stories

Managing during the big story

Despite making calls to the Alligator’s lawyer, filing public records requests and working on school projects, I’ve somehow managed to stay alive through this weekend.

But it’s all worth it — because we just published one of the best investigative pieces on Student Government I’ve seen in my time at the Alligator.

When you get anonymous e-mail printouts sent in a manilla envelope to your office, and especially when they have to do with Student Government, you take them seriously. But that brings up a slew of management issues, too.

We decided to only tell section editors and a few reporters about the documents, mainly to protect our scoop on the issue. And we decided that it was pressing enough to warrant me, Ken Schwencke (managing editor for online) and Jessie DaSilva (editor in chief) being more involved in the story than usual. We pulled public records and made phone calls to the Alligator’s lawyer. I feel like we spent the majority of our weekend just asking advice from professors and any expert we could find.

When a story like this falls into your lap, you don’t take it for granted. But it’s nervewracking. You realize that you’re putting the paper’s reputation and people’s careers on the line.

Sitting in the production room tonight editing pages, I was flipping out over late deadlines and general pressure. Our opinions editor told me to calm down because we had a groundbreaking, amazing story. I responded that worry is what I do best.

I’ve learned that worry is a part of management. My tendency to worry over everything makes me a good manager, I think, because I try to fix everything I see wrong.

But it can take the joy out of doing what I love.

So tonight, I’m taking the 15 minutes before I fall asleep to take a break from worrying, and to remember that — despite having to eat lunch in my car or averaging four hours of sleep — I think my job is perfect.

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Filed under Editing, Managing