editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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Dear Santa, from your favorite newsroom

December 21st, 2007 · No Comments

Dear Santa -

As folks whose lives are shaped by deadlines, we are sorry we are writing to you so close to yours. We know that, by now, you have received most of your requests, but Santa our newsroom has been really, really busy — producing evergreen copy and the pages that will fill our holiday papers. We hope that despite our tardiness you’ll still consider this appeal.

Now Santa, we want you to know that we think we’ve been really good this year and we hope you realize just how difficult that was. Ours is a challenging industry and being good takes lots and lots of effort. But we’ve listened to our editors and respected our copy editors. We’ve played nice with other reporters and even stopped making fun of the photographers. We no longer say things about the web people behind their backs.

We know that you receive lots of letters from people saying just how much stuff they need, and that ours is just another in the pile, but we hope you will recognize the uniqueness of our situation. See Santa, it’s been a difficult year for our industry, despite profit margins that make most businesses jealous, at times it seemed like everything but us was bad – revenue, advertising and circulation. As a result, there wasn’t so much cheer to go around our office, the holiday spirit was truly challenged.

Santa, we were told that there was no money for raises, new office chairs, better pens, benefits or new computers. Even the holiday party was turned into a pot-luck and for the Christmas tree we had to use an inflatable one that we got from a PR company. It truly looked dark. But reminded ourselves about all the good things we did this year: We championed the underprivileged, gave voices to the voiceless. We uncovered corrupt politicians and helped keep criminals off the streets. We covered tragedies and triumphs and worked through storms and heat waves.

You know when we are sleeping and you know when we are awake, but in case you’re confused, we’re the people who spend 60-70 hours a week in our offices, we’re those who work while we’re home and even when we’re driving between.

So we hope you agree that we’ve not been naughty and actually, we’ve been really nice.

With that said Santa, all we want ask for are raises that show us some respect (cost of living at least); computers that were made at least in the 90s; a mileage reimbursement that if nothing else, covers the cost of a gumball; more space for our stories, additional reporters, photographers and web developers and publishers who read our newspapers would be nice, but we understand that may be asking too much.

Santa, we thank you for considering our request and although we’re going to try to stay in the newsroom until you arrive, in case we can’t, we’ve left a cup of coffee for you and a bag of microwave popcorn if you get hungry.

Tags: Advertising · Industry · Local Newspapers

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