Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

The only South Dakota news I noticed Saturday in the Fargo Forum was an article about a woman cracking open an egg that had four yolks.  Well, it is  1 in 11,000,000,000 occurrence, but I still imagine there is a lot more going on South Dakota than that. Plus, it is such a stereotypically Midwestern, rural story.

I have become a real news junkie over the past four years, mainly out of anxiety.  I do so look forward to the future when news might become more dull.

What sort of beat would you want to cover if you were a reporter?  What print media do you like to read?

39 thoughts on “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!”

  1. While I was never a newspaper reporter, I was a magazine journalist who wrote all sorts of stuff. The pieces I took most pleasure in were published in a personal column. Like the magazine I edited, it appeared once a month. That part of the magazine was pure storytelling, pieces featuring what we called humor and reflection. Were I to write for newspapers, that would be my niche.

    Writing a column inevitably becomes an obsession. It is difficult to do well, and at some point the column becomes the reason you live your life. In an average day I would think about the next column dozens of times, hoping to find one of those magic stories that helps people laugh or make an emotional connection.

    On one of the worst mornings of my life, I went jogging at daybreak a dog named Pukka. When something startled her, Pukka dashed into the street and died when struck by a car. As I stood sobbing over Pukka’s body a little voice in my head noted, “Well, now you know what your next column will be.”

    Liked by 4 people

      1. BiR, I once talked to another columnist who said his life was seriously altered by the need to find fresh column material. Many of the popular columnists have recurring themes that help them get by. That pressure to be fresh and appealing ends up causing the burnouts of columnists of all sort.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Just think of our daily Trail Baboon. Renee and vs do such a terrific job, assisted by the occasional contribution from baboons, of keeping this trail bopping along. Thanks. It has been an important part of my pandemic survival resources.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I just viewed the snowstorm on our front patio through our Nest doorbell. Now I feel smug and terribly glad we left when we did. Today we did errands and welcomed the WiFi guy in our jammies this morning. We purchased a new TV (we must feed the streaming habit!) this afternoon. Wow, when did the prices fall on those?

        No one has yet mentioned a gossip columnist. If you just want to stir up trouble and generally upset people, I think that would be a news job to do it. The big gossip here is that Lou’s motorcycle lock got sand in it so he could not unlock it, attach the battery and test the motorcycle. He finally had to saw the lock off. Also, our condo neighbor’s dog died, then the unit next to ours sold, and everyone likes the new neighbor. There you go.

        When had our last cat, she had such a gossipy personality and so favored Lou, that we would send out a Christmas letter with her as gossip columnist. She complained about the dog and me a lot in the letter. It was very popular with our friends, and even prompted friends to write her letters of sympathy for having to live with the dog and me.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. She was constantly snarking at me, yet fawning at Lou. She glared Icicles and daggers at the dog and it was obvious she was willing to say anything to ditch the dog. Hiss.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. I miss the actual ‘paper’ paper. It was sort of my thing to stand at the kitchen counter and read the paper. Don’t miss the recycling and bags of news papers we would acquire. And it’s silly that Rochester, Third largest city in MN has such a thin crappy newspaper. They have gone all online, but the last few papers they had would be 6 pages and some were ads.

    The online version combines with the owners other stuff so at least there’s more there, but still, skip the ads, skip the sports, skip the legals and classified… leaves me a few pages to read.

    I would like to be in charge of the comics. Thank you very much.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It’s hard to be a local news source now. TV and the internet flood viewers with news about national and international events, offering live action sound and film. Local news often comes down to weather and sports, for most other areas of interest are covered by other outlets.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. If I had ever wanted to be a reporter, I would have been.

    What I wonder is where the figure of one in eleven billion as the odds for a four-yolked egg came from and how that figure could be arrived at. It strikes me as entirely made up.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the one in a gazillion might be right.

        I get some double yolkers once in a while. I didn’t even know 4 was a thing!
        I assumed the doubles came from older hens but I’ve been googling today. Doubles are 1:1000 and come from young hens because their whole system gets confused sometimes. I did not know that. You can usually tell them because they are so much bigger than a regular egg.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Observed in my childhood: doubles more likely in young hens, usually but not always larger, very visible when you candle eggs, more likely to have blood in them (common and harmless but unappetizing). We would on rare occasions get triples.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. It’s one thing to calculate 1 : 1000. You could experience that personally. One in eleven billion would span continents, maybe generations and that assumes that every incidence would be recorded. How many eggs are produced in the U. S. In a year? Does anybody really know?

          Liked by 1 person

  5. We subscribe to a weekly news digest (paper!, via snail mail) The Week; one of its regular columns is “Wit and Wisdom”, a sidebar with half a dozen pithy quotes… I’d like to find the quotes.

    Or for radio news, I’d be the one to find the music for the end of the story. Ever notice on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me how the music at the end of a segment is just PERFECT?… and usually makes me laugh.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’re right on both counts!
      We used to get the Week and really enjoyed it.

      And yes to the music on WWDTM. Same w/ Carktalk -they always had good music.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I had the The Week in our Highland Park Office waiting room. That magazine, and “Mindful” magazine were frequently stolen, indicating overall popularity.

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Advice columnist cum concert/theater and restaurant reviewer sounds like a fun assignment, at least for a while.

    I read several newspapers and newsletters online, daily, plus magazine articles on topics I find interesting as they cross my path. By the time I watch the news on TV, I have usually read about it beforehand.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Kind of coincidentally, I was thinking about the subject of reporters and beats earlier today. Brandt Williams had a show on MPR this morning talking about the newsroom reporters who are covering the pandemic, and the phrase “beat reporters” came up several times. At one point Williams was summarizing questions from listeners and said, “We did hear from someone who wanted to know exactly what a beat is, i’ll just tell you that that’s an area of coverage – we just call them beats, it’s more journalistic lingo, and i apologize for not clarifying that earlier…because it’s pretty easy when you’re talking to colleagues just to talk in shop talk and not in plain english…”

    I wondered how old the listener was who asked the question, or maybe it was someone for whom English is a second language, because I don’t really think of the term “beat” as particularly obscure or jargon-y, or requiring a definition.

    I would, of course, cover the waterfront, because somebody has to.

    Liked by 3 people

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