Why do we?: Deadlines

Why do we set deadlines so early? Why is there a deadline at all?

Deadlines are a key factor in getting the news to the public in a timely manner. The news outlet covers the event, writes the story and publishes it. The deadline establishes the timeline to get that done.

But deadlines aren’t as big of a deal as it used to be. Thanks to technology and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s gotten easier and easier to get stuff done and posted to the public. Just like all modernization issues, there are plenty of pros and cons that impact how the news is reported.

For newspapers, especially with print as the primary mode of reaching the public, there’s still a need to respect the production process. It takes our staff hours to layout and edit stories, arrange photos on the page, include the advertisements and classifieds. This kind of work is often forgotten when picking up the physical copy of the newspaper itself.

Other factors impacting production like holidays, emergencies, computer hiccups and receiving submissions from outside groups can also be a headache. Having the staff writers meet deadlines can help provide the necessary wiggle room in tough situations like this.

The biggest factor for us here in the rural Upper Peninsula is shipping. We lose an entire day to bring the newspaper from printing presses downstate to above the bridge. It’s not an ideal scenario, but it was the best possible option for us as we get started.

Deadlines can also mean that some news is not as detailed as it could be. There are certain things that we can do to rectify that with updates in the next edition or social media posts, but it is a more unfortunate aspect of jumping into print publications.

The Munising Beacon is looking at all factors in determining how to extend the deadline, but we’re also hoping the groups that provide us with information like schools, churches, government workers and libraries can take this into consideration as well.

In the hopes of better understanding how our local newspaper works, the staff editorial on the first week of every month will go over one specific topic of relevant local journalism that causes questions or concerns. To ask a question, email munisingbeacon@gmail.com with the subject line “Why do we?”.