Last week, I was doing my usual, “how many stories do we have for today’s email?” query, and found we had 3.
I mean sure some days we run around 15, sometimes close to 20. But 3?
Are you kidding me???
I felt bad all day.
Just 3 stories.
I forget that we are cranking out news 24/7 and you just can’t have 15 stories EVERY day!
But I’m happier if there’s at least 5 or 6.
Then the fire happened.
When am I going to learn that NO news, is good news!
That was an all nighter for us.
We just got to sleep a little after midnight and then at 3:45 a.m. The phone rang.
It’s was the “big guys” in Des Moines wanting to know if they could use our pictures for their story…and who to contact about the fire and to tell me that they woke up the former mayor and how do we get in touch with the new mayor…and all these questions!
I forgot that he was on a deadline.
He did compliment us on having such an awesome website, but at the time, I’m thinking, “Is this good or bad?” But I remember we’re the only place in town that puts out the whole story, so who else are they going to call?
When that phone rang at 3:45 a.m. I just knew that it wasn’t a good call. Add to that it was a number I didn’t recognize which meant it could be a wrong number, OR it could be a hospital. I mean NOTHING good happens at 3 in the morning!
All of those feelings are rushing through as I answered the phone, while trying to wake up enough to understand who’s calling and why.
Finally as I mumbled some answers to the barrage of questions, trying not to sound like I’m half asleep, and fumbling with the computer to pull up what they were talking about, I apologized.
Then I thought WHY am I apologizing?
This guy woke me up at 3 in the morning!
Silly guy, I think he thought we were in a “real” office and not in my pj’s stumbling down the hall trying to find the phone.
So anyway, the next few days like everyone in town, were a blur.
It’s one of those times people will ask, “Where were you when you heard about the fire?” moments that we’ll all remember.
We’ll remember watching all of the dear firemen who worked through the night, we’ll remember how devastated we felt as we saw a second and a third building catch fire. We’ll remember thinking, “What are they going to do?” and “Those poor businesses”
We’re all still in shock I’m sure.
But one thing I have GOT to remember is this. No news IS good news!
I remember once Dean said, “If there’s nothing to report and nothing to say, there’s no need for a story.”
I guess that’s true, but I still have in the back of my mind that if we were a “real” newspaper, we’d have SOMETHING even if we had to make it up! Wait! That’s not who we want to be, we just want to be us.
So from now on, if you see a light news day, just remember, it’s not that we left you high and dry, it’s just that there really isn’t much happening.
And be glad.