Out With The Old

Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008, at 9:33 AM
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  • Brian,

    Sitting here near the east coast, a half century from my time roaming 20 counties of three states out of McCook -- If you get tired of sitting on the farmstead all the time -- try this on for size.

    Suggested it to the Gazette, but they apparently think it is too hard to pull off.

    I would leave McCook at 5 a.m. Monday and do one loop-- Herndon, Oberlin, Atwood, Trenton, Stratton, Wauneta and all the country schools -- back into McCook about 10 p.m. or or midnight.

    Devote Tuesday to darkroom and writing from my notes and collections of the day before. Hot, hard stuff went into that afternoon's edition, the rest saved for the third day's edition.

    Third day -- Wed - Do another loop down to Wilsonville, toward Beaver City, back to Cambridge, always hitting a couple of country schools, and back in that night. Sometimes get photos of three high school basketball games or football games on Tuesday and Friday nights mostly. Also cover tournaments. Possibly develop film that night from the 4X5 camera. In the office at 5 a.m., on Thursday, get the hard news in, finish with the stuff for Friday.

    Of course, several photos ran from the 20-county area every day. Somewhere in there I put together the farm tabloid.

    Then Friday back out probably up Frenchman's creek to Wauneta,Imperial -- across country to Curtis and down the northeast side to Cambridge and back into McCook.

    Of course, worked in high school sports, concerts, plays, etc. Did a lot of advance coverage, to give the kids' stuff publicity.

    Saturdays, I would primarily work in the newsroom, handling Friday night sports, writing from my week's pickups, etc.

    I think there was a front page photo feature every edition for about seven months without a break.

    Today, with digital cameras, cell phone comput er linkage (Or Hughes Satellite service on a small RV and a computer for writing copy and temailing copy and photos -- an area reporter could go out two days--on a loop, send material back as it develops, possibly just scan some material and transmit for the crew in the McCook newsroom to process.

    Two two-day swings with modern equipment would let the area reporter accomplish more in four days than I did in six.

    A well organized regional news operation could ut ilized community correspondents -- probably mostly teachers with digital cameras and internet access to cover all the soft news.

    But it requires someone to get into the courthouses and city halls -- and dig out the "hard" news. Some one to crawl into a Phillips Oil "tight hole" operation and find out what they are discovering with a total discovery drilling.

    Yep, I had fun, grew to love the region.

    The advantage a remote region stringer correspondent has now is that they can free lance in all directions.

    Out there -- The Denver Post, Omaha World Herald, some of the Kansas dailies to the south and east of the border regions, Kansas City Star, Lincoln, Hastings, Lexington, etc.

    With a decent video camera -- even do some footage for the TV stations. Or submit good still photos until you get the hang of it. By making a business of it, some city slicker trying to get to know that country could build something and get to know the region pretty well.

    Any questions - bigsurmac@excite.com -Dan McGrew

    -- Posted by bigsurmac on Wed, Dec 31, 2008, at 6:54 PM
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