One time, I moved from Kentucky to South Carolina for a job. Cool story, right?
So what exactly am I doing down here in Seneca, you might ask.
Well, copy and design is what it’s typically called, but since I work at a small paper with a reporting staff under 10, I get to do a lot more.
My actual duties include placing content on-page for the C section of our paper — Lifestyles — and D as well. Typically my section includes the front-page story and photos, maybe a local column, the obituaries, submitted entries of honor roll, officer elections of local organizations, somebody graduating from Basic Training or anything along those lines. The Lifestyles section is also home to “Tell Willie,” which is a very local thing. I can’t say I know the entire history, but it originated with an employee of the paper giving the community a sounding board for their rants, raves, praises and other peculiar comments. People from the area call in and leave a message with Willie, email it in or sometimes send snail mail (What’s that?) and Willie will respond once our crew types them up and sends them to him.
Y’all, I go through 5-10 of these every day and we almost NEVER come close to running out. We get complaints about the sheriff, questions about how to get rid of squirrels, comments on Obamacare and shout outs to the nice lady at Walmart who returned somebody’s wallet. The entire thing is anonymous and HILARIOUS. Willie, being the sassy old southern gent that he is, will applaud things that deserve it and tell people to use some common sense when they seem to have forgotten how.
Anyway, so that’s the main chunk of my job — putting stories on page, editing them and proofing submitted items before they go to press.
The D section is the World and Nation section and comes almost exclusively from the Associated Press wire. I get to pull stories and art for that front page, pick which briefs need to run and place the stock reports. It doesn’t sound super exciting, but to me, it is. It’s like a giant puzzle, but you don’t know if the pieces actually fit together, hah.
I also occasionally get to shoot or write stories, so I’m actually putting my education to good use, no worries. I have also recently earned the title of “graphics diva” since I volunteered to make a chart ONE TIME and now we have one probably once a week. In my mind, they’re so super sub-par it’s ridiculous, but most of our audience isn’t familiar with them, so they’re super great.
My hours are typically from 1-9ish, depending on how large my section is. Some nights I’ll be done by 7, some nights I’m there until 10 and other nights I work 1-4 then come back from 7-9. It’s a matter of how many ads there are, how many pages are in my sections, if I have a story to write and a few other little things.
The staff is pretty cool.
And there’s free ice cream. So that’s one of the biggest job perks I’ve ever found.
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So now you (sort of) know what I do on a daily basis and get to see some of the final products! :)