Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

A Step Back in Time

I’ve decided to stay in Vernal until the holidays, and accepted a full time position with the Vernal Express. Today was my first day in the office, and it was like taking a step back in time several decades. Patrick, the new editor, arrived from Maine a few weeks ago, so needless to say the paper, as well as staff members, are going through a few adjustments. Patrick’s getting used to the community an being assimilated into a paper that has been around for 100 years, and is housed in a building that is almost that old. A new building is being built, and hopefully we’ll move in Oct. 1. Until then, the Express office is still housed in what must be it’s original building, with stained, threadbare carpet, a mildewy smell from the water stained ceiling tiles that sag above our heads. Patrick’s office is not bigger than a closet, and although the veteran reporters have cubicles, I’m temporarily working on a folding mormon table, with my workspace cleared out between two printers.

When I arrived for my first day of chasing the news officially, the server was down. The paper is laid out and printed on tuesdays, so mondays are the days we must get all stories in, edited and ready for print. I wrote of couple of stories while waiting for the server to come back up, but by afternoon it still hadn’t happened. So when it came time for me to help Patrick proofread and edit, we did it the old fashioned way. Patrick edited each story first, then sent it to one of the printers next to me. I pulled it off the printer, marked it up with my red pen, then walked the proofed copy across the musty newsroom and placed it on Patrick’s desk. It took us several hours and I logged a couple miles crossing the newsroom, but we were nearly finished at 10 p.m. when we called it quits for the day.

Despite the smelly office and chaos of the day, i really enjoyed myself. It was good to get back into the drama and excitement of the newsroom, and reminded me of my days at the Taylorsville EAgle, where every day was a struggle just to get the paper out. It fueled my fire and passion for the news, especially when we took a few minutes to talk about layout, debated verbage, or lamented on editorial prose. I think I’m going to like the new challenge, and am excited to make the most of my time here.

September 23, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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