Monday, August 18, 2008

The 9/11 treatment, but not for Michael P.

I see my colleagues around the country did the Sept. 11/Pope dies thing for Michael Phelps, who surely deserved a front-page presence, but maybe not quite the full 6 columns (or however many your paper has).

So what did Mr. Smug do today? Well, pretty much that, though I think this was a more suitable occasion, the deployment of our local National Guard unit to Iraq.
The day photographer, Matthew B. Zimmerman, shot these photos (and more that ran inside with a story by Andy Porter), and Web content editor Carlos Virgen reported and produced this story:

I'm pretty pleased with this, especially because the idea for the expanded coverage (i.e. more than photos) was cooked up by the Butterfly Lady and I during a rare coffee break downtown. She also filled in for Carlos on one of his daily tasks so he'd have time to rush out and shoot his story.

Oh, and all this was done on deadline (the sendoff was at 10 a.m.; deadline is just past noon.) This is why I like working at a small local paper: I can change the plan for the day at the drop of a hat without having to clear the decision with anyone, let alone three other editors.

Of course, this works because my boss, who gives me almost absolute control over the daily newsgathering, hires people who do really great work and can be counted on in the clutch.

A very good day indeed!

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