Deadline Has a New Definition
Deadline meansÂ different things to Â many people. For my husband it is getting things accomplished at whatever cost as long as it is complete by his mental deadline.
For a writer, the word deadline is the line you draw in your head and avoid stepping over regardless of how many nights of sleep you have missed.
For a reporter writing for a weekly newspaper it is the most stressful day of the week when all of yourÂ hardwork comes down to one day. When writing for a daily publication it is the time stampÂ etched in your mind.Â You know just how close you can get to it without turning your editor’s face a few shades ofÂ Â red. And it is what you know you have passed when the editor begins walking over to your desk.
For an online reporter, however, deadline takes on a whole other meaning. It is more than a time stamp. It is a race. It is a race to get the phone calls made or emails sent (depending on which source you’re trying to reach) as quickly as possible.
It is a race to research, understand and master your subject matter in the matter of minutes only to regurgitate it all in a clean, concise manner before the opponent. Only the opponent is no longer the other large dailyÂ newspaper or the other weekly publication. Instead the opponent is a massive number of outlets all vying for the reader’s attention.
It is no longer about attending the event, jotting a few quotes in your reporter’s notebook and heading back to the newsroom to write an informative news story that you’ll seeÂ in print.
Today it is about blogging live right from the event with your laptop, or posting a few notes about it on Twitter, or streaming it live.
So no, deadline for this online reporter is no longer “Wednesday by Noon,” or “At The Close of Day”, deadline for me is two hours from the time I am assigned a story to the time I hit send.