Deadlines for the dead

December 3, 2008

When it comes to blogging about journalism-related items going on in the world, it’s always interesting to find Ventura County-related news, especially when it comes down to that bane of newspaper writing: the constant, deadline-driven timeliness of print media.

Working here at a weekly paper can be both daunting and advantageous. Having a seven-day shelf life and with a daily competitor down the road, the first scoop on breaking matters doesn’t often fall in line with our publication schedule. On the other hand, we have more time to craft engaging, feature pieces in reaction to daily news as it unfolds.

Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, whatever, one thing is for sure: we all have deadlines, and we all want to report things in a timely manner for our own readers’ needs.

So what should one think when the news — and in this case, obituaries — is reported a long, long time after the fact?

Sheri Rudd Klittich, who was the first administrator of the state-run agricultural Hansen Trust in Ventura County, died on Nov. 20. The local daily, the Star, reported it six days after the fact. The daily L.A. Times, who has more than enough resource and ample opportunity for quick Ventura County coverage, just got around to running a feature on Klittich today, Dec. 3 — almost two weeks after her death.

It’s something for editors, publishers, reporters and their readers to consider: how long can one wait before engaging news becomes a simple afterthought?

(That means you, daily papers.)


One Response to “Deadlines for the dead”

  1. […] to use them to avoid concentrating on this instead. Deadlines have always driven me, though (hence the reason I chose a journalism degree back when I was making that big decision) and the time is here for me to sit down and define my own […]

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