Newspapers in 2024

A vehicle for us all

Posted 1/3/24

I’ll be frank: Christmas on a Monday does not work for me. Why? Because Monday is “production day.” When that happens, we prepare two papers in a week: one on Monday and one on …

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Newspapers in 2024

A vehicle for us all


I’ll be frank: Christmas on a Monday does not work for me. Why? Because Monday is “production day.” When that happens, we prepare two papers in a week: one on Monday and one on Friday. It is confusing which day it is, especially as we’re working a week ahead of ourselves.

On these production days, some of us are logging in at 5:30 a.m. (thank you, Roger Snedeker) to gather up over-the-weekend death notices. Some of us are jumping online around 6 a.m. (yay, production manager Amanda Reed and copy editor Annemarie Schuetz) preparing for a day of page layout, final edits and news layouts (thanks, editor Pam Chergotis, who is on a huge learning curve), proofing and checking ads (thanks, administrative assistant Kathy Leggio, who works to coordinate the work of sales representatives Barbara Winfield and Lily Skuthan). 

Proofreading begins around 8:10 a.m. (thanks, former managing editor Anne Willard), followed by putting in corrections (thanks for pitching in, staff reporter Ruby Rayner-Haselkorn), and checking them (Roger again). At day’s end, often after 5 p.m., we are checking final PDFs to transmit them to the printer with all hands on deck.

And that’s not all. This is just the work of the production of the print paper, which doesn’t include all of the work of preparing the material that is placed within the pages. (Thanks, writers Jonathan Charles Fox and Ted Waddell, and to Jennie Snedeker for collating all of the events for the Where & When calendar. And yeah, with a Monday production day, editorial staff works much of the weekend.) 

To that, we add our trusty delivery people. (You’re the best, Jim Petruzziello and Dawn Snedeker.) 

It takes a dedicated staff, for sure, to produce a newspaper. Plus others. Writers, columnists and everyone who sends us their news, who tells us their news, who supports our news. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

Looking forward to 2024

As I sat down to write this, last minute on Friday, December 29, I asked Amanda what she would write. Amanda, as our version of a technical wizard—(Did you know that she singlehandedly produces all of the graphics for the paper? Creates the e-newsletter, and watches over the website, among MANY other tasks.)—immediately asked the artificial intelligence bots for a “Welcome to 2024” introduction for newspapers.

Here’s what came back, seconds later.

“A welcome to 2024 speech for a newspaper can have different flavors depending on the tone and perspective you want to convey.”

‘Reflective and Optimistic’:

Headline: From Crossroads to Sunrise: Embracing the Promise of 2024

Body: As the curtain falls on 2023, a year etched with both challenges and triumphs, we stand at the threshold of 2024. The past 12 months tested our resilience, unveiled our vulnerabilities, and ignited sparks of hope. We saw communities grapple with adversity, innovation bloom amidst uncertainty, and the human spirit rise undaunted. Today, we stand poised on the precipice of a new dawn....

‘Bold and Action-Oriented’:

Headline: 2024: The Year We Rise

Body: Forget resolutions, 2024 is a call to action. The challenges we face demand not whispers, but roars. This year, let’s raise our voices for causes we believe in, champion justice for the marginalized, and dismantle the walls that divide us. ... In 2024, let’s reclaim the power of the individual, not through empty words, but through the transformative force of collective action....

‘Thought-Provoking and Introspective’:

Headline: 2024: A Canvas for Unanswered Questions

Body: As we embark on 2024, the air hums with unanswered questions. Will we bridge the chasms that fracture our societies? Will we find the courage to confront the shadows that lurk within? Will we harness the power of technology for good, or succumb to its perils? This year is not a destination, but a crossroads. It beckons us to delve into the depths of our collective soul, to confront the uncomfortable truths that linger beneath the surface....”

Putting it all together

“There’s good stuff here,” Amanda remarked. 

Of course there is. It’s made of the words, concepts and ideas generated by hard-working and diligent news staffs. People not unlike those on this list, who labored to gather, curate, edit and print the news—the local news. For now, artificial intelligence just pilfers all of the pieces of human thought and puts them together. 

Which is all to say that the Welcome 2024 message from the River Reporter is: This year we look forward to showing you more of the hows and whys of the importance and essential nature of local community journalism. And the passion and individuals behind this very human work.

And asking for your continued support.

2024, publishers note, new year, newspaper staff


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