By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Our time with our intern, Amy, is wrapping up. That means that the bit of extra flexibility I’ve enjoyed, particularly on Tuesdays when city council meetings and newspaper printing sometimes lead to schedule conflicts, will be going the way of the dodo bird.
At the same time our sports and education writer, Miranda, has made the decision to focus more on the homeschooling groups she runs as her children return to their studies this fall. Miranda is still going to cover content for us, but instead of covering specific beats on a regular schedule, as she did for our sports and school board coverage, she will be working on a story-by-story basis as she is available. Essentially, she’s giving up her part-time schedule and returning to her role as a stringer.
She’ll also continue to handle website and social media updates for us.
We’re thrilled to continue working with her, in whatever capacity she chooses.
But it also drives home just how much of this operation has been, and continues to be, a two-person job.
It shouldn’t be. In most other newsrooms the work performed by myself and Nicole would be covered by at least five other people, if not more – and that’s with one person in each role. Most newsrooms, even weekly papers, have more than one reporter.
I cover that role myself, in addition to photography, editorial duties, distribution, and (very feeble) attempts at advertising sales.
Nicole handles all graphic design and layout, as well as all of the business administration and organizational tasks. This is on top of her full time day job.
I’ve noted it before, but it’s a lot to do. And as much as I love it, I couldn’t do it alone, even if I wanted to.
It’s an interesting situation to contemplate, especially for someone like me who has always been more comfortable working on my own than as part of a team.
In school, I would always choose to work alone if it was an option. If it wasn’t, I was the kid who did all, or at least most, of the work and just let my classmates put their names on the project at the end. Especially if I was passionate about a subject, as I am about this newspaper, I didn’t care to stay awake and muscle through the deadlines – just like I do today.
What’s changed, though, is the appreciation for the contributions that others can make. Not just in reducing the workload, but in what those other perspectives bring to a project. Or, in this case, a newspaper.
It isn’t always the way I’d do it, but that’s okay. And, in the end, it makes the final product better than I could ever make it on my own. I still might fancy myself a loner at times, but I appreciate the team I get to work with.
I really couldn’t do it without them.
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