Tuesday, October 27, 2009

National College Media Convention: Austin, Tx.

Seems like a crazy week for everyone: midterms, pounding out another week of issues for TNH, finding the perfect Halloween costume, and possibly preparing for the NYC marathon (shout out to Cam).

On Thursday, five TNH staffers are adding a trip to Austin, Texas to the list. While the details will be more precisely mapped out tomorrow, we're leaving lovely Durham at 3:45 a.m. - perfect time to bond, if I do say so myself.

Hopefully we'll come back with some innovative ideas like the crew did last year when they went to San Diego. It better be worth it, since the regulars will be busting out a normal production night without some key staff members (shout out to Chris, who lays out most of the pages. She'll be with us in Austin, oh yeah...)

If anything, there are opportunities to drop of resumes and cover letters while we're there. For a senior like me, pretty valuable stuff.

If you care, join us for a writer's meeting tomorrow at 8 p.m. as we anticipate our quickly arriving departure time. We'll be packing for 70 degree weather, fun stuff.

All to serve you, the readers of the website (including this blog), and possibly the paper. And hopefully advance our careers. Thanks for listening - until next time,


Friday, October 16, 2009

The newsroom's colder, but the editing's warming up...

As our building starts to freeze with the onset of fall and winter weather, the editing is just warming up. Well, we have to make up for the weather somehow.

I have to agree with Exec Editor Cam Kittle - the beat system, in my mind, has been quite a success. (Knock on wood - we've still got all year...) But writers who were afraid they'd run out of ideas for stories now find themselves somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of events and feature ideas coming their way.

In the case of the power outages earlier this year, having our Crime/Cops beat writer (Alexis Macarchuk) on it right away simplified things and enhanced our coverage. In the past, we would've sent out mass texts and struggled to find a writer who could be in the right place at the right time.

The website's awesome. Thanks to John for getting the ball rolling last year, and Cam for initiating everything - from the training sessions to waiting for everything to upload, often until 5 a.m. most nights. Definitely a better reflection of the content, when it looks classier, more streamlined and professional.

Ok, am I gushing too much? Well, from a content editor's perspective, things seem nice. An influx of writers and ideas is never a bad thing. Though we could use some editing help, which we're working on.

With a slightly smaller staff, everyone's a bit more diligent in the newsroom. While Sporcle marathons used to keep everyone in the newsroom till 2 or 3 a.m. last year, it's actual page layout and online posting that does it this year.

And last night - we had our largest amount of original content of the year. When the stories we receive from students double, long nights follow. Thank God I scheduled no classes on Fridays.

So that's where we are. A trip to Austin, Texas over Halloween weekend (National Media Conference) should get the five of us going even more excited. Yes, we're missing Halloween at UNH for newspaper stuff - and it's gonna be great. Look how dedicated we are! (I'm actually very excited).

I'll stop blabbering on and thank everyone who continues to visit the website and read the paper. Hopefully we are serving our purpose: keeping students, faculty, staff, the community, and alumni informed.

Until next time,


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's been way, way too long...

Eesh. No posts since Aug. 21? That's pretty awful, considering that I wanted to make this blog a weekly-updated place for readers to go and find out how production nights work and how staffers are feeling as the semester rolls on. Yet here we are halfway through the semester without a single post since summer. Ouch.

Well, I'm here to rectify that situation and let you know how the paper's going so far this year, especially with all the new changes.

First off, the beat system. It's been a thrilling success, in my mind. We have 11 writers on staff currently (without counting the four or five sports writers we also have) and that's a huge step up from the measly four we had at the end of last year. I don't know how many there were throughout the majority of the year, but I don't think it was close to 11. We've been lucky to have a lot of committed people writing for us this semester. And, with an average of about 12-15 contributing writers showing up to every writer's meeting, we've been able to minimize the amount of AP content to almost none.

I think the new Index page has been great, and the new page three with pictures of the week, sudoku puzzles and comics has made the paper a bit more fun for students. I like featuring student photos too; we've been lucky enough to see photographers offer to help with a variety of events and stories. It's great.

The business section has been good; the only complaint we've had is that "Corporate" sends a negative message and shouldn't be the title of the section, but I kinda like it. It's different. We've had some good stories show up there, and it allows for readers to expect something new every Tuesday and Friday. It switches up the paper a bit, keeps it on an even keel.

Honestly, I'm very proud of the product we've put out so far this year. No regrets at all. We had a bit of a crazy week when all the newspapers were stolen by three soon-to-be punished individuals, but even that was a great thing. It gave us a ton of coverage and I think a few more people around New England might even know we have a newspaper now. Cool.

Alright, I've got nothing else for you. I'll try and get my staff to update this dusty old blog more often. Now, I'm off to watch a thrilling new episode of South Park (I am a college student after all...)

Cameron Kittle