07 June 2006

Tips for Dealing with Journos

This post over at Resurgent Liberal could not be more true and is well worth a read if either you deal with journalists on a regular basis or are going to be.
And this point in particular is well worth remembering:
"Understand and work to the paper’s timings. Understand the cycle that the paper works to: when the main stories are decided, when the deadlines are, when the paper gets put to bed. Make sure that you get your stories to the editor in time. Once the basic shape of the paper has been decided (which can be a few days in advance of print deadlines), your story won’t get in unless it’s unusually strong."
From experience at the student newspaper I can tell you there is nothing worse than receiving an article at the last minute which - whilst worthy of space in the paper - cannot go in as most of the pages have been set.
The worst time this happened was in the run-up to last year's General Election when Tony Page, the Labour candidate, was only available for interview at 4pm in the afternoon on the day we went to print when we had a deadline of 7pm, despite us pestering him constantly to do it earlier (a feat the other two candidates managed). Because it was unclear whether the interview was even going to be done that day most of the page was set, leaving him a small space underneath on page 2. I doubt this was the cause of his defeat at the polls, but if he was treating all the newspapers like this, it wouldn't surprise me.

3 comments:

Tony Ferguson said...

I am almost certain it was not the cause of his defeat which I think was probably more down to the fighting within Reading Labour Party, the deselection of Jane Griffiths and possibly the fact that some of her constituents whom I have spoken to actually liked her as the MP

Gavin Whenman said...

Maybe not, but I like to stir ;-)

Gareth said...

Or was it the 7% or so swing to the Lib Dems over a range of policies, abetted by the first-hand sight of Reading Labour at their bullying worst...?

"Oh you Gerodie thing" at http://flashingblade.journalspace.com/ gives an idea of the latter...