, Gloucester, MA


May 11, 2013

Why Did My Newspaper Do That? A day in the newsroom

From time to time, I’ve had people ask what a typical day is like in the Times newsroom. And my answer is almost always the same – there really isn’t any such thing.

That’s especially true when we have aspects of the next day’s Times already planned out, and we’re suddenly faced with some significant breaking news, as happened twice within a three-day period earlier this week. And that can happen, of course, at virtually any time. But I thought it would be fun to give you some sense of the activity that you might see if you spent a day in the Times newsroom.

For while we often focus in this column on news coverage, choices and decisions, the fact is there are a lot more things in play than many readers might think about. And the development of today’s Times and the activity a visitor might have seen in our Whittemore Street newsroom Friday was probably as typical a day as any.

My own first morning project was to firm up our planned list of stories and features that will be coming soon in our annual Cape Ann Summer Guide. At the same time, Community Editor Christina Parisi was handling today’s and Monday’s GoingsOn and calendar listings. And our news reporters began arriving and making phone calls to their sources to begin looking toward their stories planned for today and/or Monday.

My next step was to map out a schedule for today’s stories, recognizing that our lead story (see Page 1) would be on the Beauport Gloucester hotel project and the Pavilion barrier beach issue. That’s because we had received Wednesday’s latest findings by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, and we knew we had a meeting planned with folks from the Port Community Alliance that would give us additional input.

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