Thursday, September 27, 2007

New school year brings new surprises

It's been really long week. With Vanguard going to press yesterday, it's made me realize a few things:

1. Never assign too few op/ed pieces.

For us, it is normally the one thing we never need to worry about. Such was not the case this issue. We had assigned four columns to fill three tabloid size pages; the worst part was, we didn't notice the problem until Wednesday (the day we went to press). And to make matters even worse, two of the columns we were counting on weren't even printable. As a result of this, instead of having 16 pages, we went down to twelve. In hind-sight, though, it was the right decision-- it was that whole "quality vs. quantity" thing; quality should always win.

2. A new staff page shouldn't be put off until the last minute.

We had started the page during issue one. We figured, "Hey, it's more then half way done, we cab get all the info at the last minute."

We were wrong. PHS (Puyallup High School) has 16 new teachers this year. On Wednesday, we had 13 of them interviewed. Because we were relying on the page to go to press, we had to do something with it.

To make matters worse, it wouldn't open on the computers we have in the newsroom.

We decided that I would finish it at home, as I have InDesign on my computer. What we didn't realize, was that we would be finishing the other pages until 10:30 that night or that the page wouldn't get finished until 11:42 to be exact.

3. Save frequently.

As I said earlier, Vanguard was at school until about 10:30. We had all the pages done except the front page by about 10. Then, when I went to finish page one, something horrible happened. Not only did InDesign keep "Detecting a serious error" and then closing, but apparently the district shuts down the server at 10:00. Unfortunately, Vanguard saves EVERYTHING on the same server. For about 15 minutes, I thought that all was lost. Then, my adviser, figured out that she could log on and get into the server--we were back on track.

I've decided that from now on, Vanguard editors need to start saving not only to the server but also to the computers hard disk. I don't want anything like that to happen again.

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