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.