January becomes a lost month for many journalists. We’re consumed with something called “Progress.”
Many daily papers produce a progress edition this time of year to generate advertising during a traditionally slow revenue cycle. Having been on that end of the business with my own advertising-supported humor publication, I fully appreciate the need. Except I used to simply suspend publication. In the real world, newspapers don’t have that luxury.
Progress editions require exhaustive legwork on the part of reporters. I have to say that, in the 14 years I’ve been with the Ashland Times-Gazette, it’s been interesting stuff for the most part. To me, it’s always fascinating learning how things work in business and industry (including agriculture, which is big in our county).
But — and that’s a big “but” — reporters are required to maintain their normal workload during progress time. Crime continues, people crash their cars, buildings burn, schools and government function with varying degrees of success. We still have to cover it.
I’ve come to enjoy my work. But, there are times when there’s too much of a good thing.