These past few weeks spanning the holidays have been very confusing here at the Herald. With the holidays falling on Wednesdays, the day we normally get our paper delivered and in the mail, our deadlines had to be moved up by several days.
For the Christmas-week issue we printed on Friday night, Dec. 20, a day before the Havana holiday festival and lawn mower parade and four days ahead of normal schedule! The paper came out on Monday and Tuesday, December 23 and 24, depending on whether you got it in the mail or bought it off the rack. For New Year’s week, we again printed on a Friday night, Dec. 27, and the paper came out on Dec. 30 and 31.
We probably could have printed a day later for each issue, but we were trying to help our printers in Bainbridge get finished so they could take some time off for the holidays too.
When you face set deadlines and publication dates every week and holidays happen to fall at the same time, you’ve got to improvise. So besides making us all crazy and confused about what day of the week it was, some news content was also delayed. But over the two-week holiday period it all got published.
In a sense, it’s a good thing that work-place activities slow down around the holidays. Local governments don’t hold meetings, advertisers are through until the new year begins and schools are dismissed for a couple of weeks. That makes filling a newspaper difficult – the lack of news and advertising – but we’ve learned over the years to be prepared for this. Which is why you see yearly reviews in the Herald (and every other newspaper and magazine) at holiday time. It’s a way to fill the pages plus it’s interesting to look back and see what happened during the past year.
The downside to a slow-down is the lack of revenue and less reader interest. During the holidays people are not interested in the news; they have other things on their minds like family, food and fun. And local advertisers? ... After the second week in December they’re done.
This week we are finally back to normal. Our deadlines and publication days are where they’re supposed to be and I’m not having to think so far ahead that I can’t keep my days straight. Now, if I can only remember to write 2014 instead of 2013!