That’s how much time I spent writing this story about the Eugene school district budget after a board meeting that ended at 9 p.m. My editor wanted the story by 10:30 p.m. After a couple of quick, post-meeting interviews and driving back to my place it was 9:45 p.m.
I hit the send key at about 10:40, so in reality it took almost an hour.
I think it is possible to be accurate and informative in that time frame, but I don’t think it’s possible to be thoughtful or graceful. So does the benefit of being first with the news and getting it out to the public fast outweigh the benefits of better crafting?
I’ve been a reporter for a long long time and I’m still uncertain.
That’s a tough one, but yeah, being first, and right, counts for a lot. Even in this age of churnalism — someone’s got to tell people WTF is going on. Besides, if you weren’t first, what would TV report on?
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