With the simultaneous decline of printed newspapers and the rise of online news, do reporters still work under the pressure of a certain time-of-day deadline? Or more generally, how has the deadline pressure changed with the rise of online news reporting?
Simple question but complex answer … Boiled down It’s all about being first now. Report it before the others (format immaterial really) is the goal…
I’ve dealt with a lot of media organizations for many, many years. From small time bloggers/newspapers to 60 minutes … Lemme ammend what I just said to, ‘it depends.’ I think generally its safe to say its about what do I have that no one else has and can I report it first. I’d say for the majority the deadline is literally, RIGHT NOW.
Some place do still have, sort of, a time they absolutely have to file by but they’ll still tend to publish the piece online ahead of that … in my experience at least.
Since there are still publications out there which are printed on paper once a day, once a week or once a month, one would assume there have to be deadlines.
Of course, electronic media and the internet are a completely different story (so to speak).
Absolutely. We still have a paper to put out. If you’re covering an evening event (like a baseball game or a town board meeting), it has to be done by a certain time to make it in the paper.
Typically, we’ll file throughout the day on a breaking news story, with a more refined version to appear in print.
Feature stories, enterprise stories, or investigative reporting will go to the web, but because these are more complex packages, they’re typically governed by a print deadline. For example, I write a weekly column for a large daily. It runs in print on Sundays but appears online on Wednesdays. It’s gotta be done Tuesday night, but I can (and sometimes do) make changes/updates/additions before it goes to print.
ETA that outside of breaking news, there are also deadlines for online stories. It doesn’t take a genius to see that traffic spikes at different times of day, and for different platforms. Our online editors are responsible to make sure we have fresh content for mobile/desktop/tablet during the peak windows for each.
Even the printed guys tend to have a get what you can up online now, refine it for the printed copy later (at least as far as I’ve seen).
Rolling Stone and the AP are going to have two very different takes on it obviously.
I also write a weekly column for a daily paper, but it doesn’t appear online until late Saturday night. I turn in my copy about 3:15 Tuesday afternoon. If I get a late addition or correction, I usually can get it in as late as late morning Wednesday, but after that it would have to be of primary importance to get a fix. The page goes to photo late Wednesday and by Thursday morning it’s shot.
Breaking news is a different matter, of course, which accounts for you getting one version of the paper on your doorstep and finding another at a newsstand thirty miles away.
When I worked for an online news service, they sent out an email blast of the day’s stories every morning. The stories had to be locked into the system by 5:55 a.m. to be included in the email. Since the stories were listed by time of “publication” this led to an amusing rivalry among reporters setting the publication time at 5:54 a.m. so their story would be at the top of the list.