The anatomy of a deadline

So after re-reading my scrambled deadline story from UCLA’s win over Cal on Wednesday night, I thought I’d let you in on how it sorta works.

So throughout the game, I’m writing my story for deadline, and because of the Daily News’ position with the Los Angeles News Group, it is necessary for me to turn in a story essentially at the buzzer, minus fresh quotes.

In a game like Wednesday’s – up, down, up, down, Roll, huh?, wow, go – it is especially difficult. I basically had a first-half story written, a second-half story tacked on top, and four sentences about the ending. The game ended on a miracle; that I had my story in eight minutes later was probably more of one.

After interviewing players and coaches, I turn in a second story, which in a tight deadline, typically goes online only, unless there’s a way to get it in the print version. Needless to say, there’s quite a difference in quality…

Take a look at the comparison:

First edition, bad

Second edition, good. Well, better. OK, fine. Meh.

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  • Blue Bruin

    Thanks for the explanation. It’s quite fascinating. Dohn, too, was always ditching game chats to meet deadlines that seemed to be set before the game would end. While I posit that it would be most entertaining to just predict how a match will conclude and publish that version, I grudgingly understand you have a duty to report events that actually transpired!

    PS: You’re much better writer than Dohn and I quite enjoy your game recaps and feature stories.


    Thanks for all the great info on deadlines, etc. I always wonder how that sort of stuff works. Just keep plugging away man. Don’t worry about people comparing you to Dohn either way…just do your own thing and you’ll be good.

  • BigTime

    Strong work Jon.

  • Marko

    Jon, thanks, your explanation is helpful – another reason the blog rocks

  • MichaelRyerson

    Thanks, Jon, I think most of us thought it was something like that. You’re doing a good job with the blog and some people will always lament the good-old-days with Dohn and the golden age. Just keep developing this place around your strengths and let the rest pass as water from a duck’s back. Now what about that ‘big’, unnamed football commit? Did I miss it or is it still out there on the horizon?

  • doug4ucla

    MY God…..Thanks for any news…I live in KCMO…I know it is of my own choosing ($$$$ is very good)…to get any news on the BRUINS is good news. Late is better than hearing about KU. Keep it up Jon, you are not going to make everybody happy.

  • Anonymous

    thanks for sharing

  • Jon’s High School Coach

    Jonny, what did I tell you about excuses!!!

  • DEC

    Does the “deadline at the buzzer” apply if the game is during the day?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t fret that “print” deadline thing too much… It won’t be hanging over your head much longer. I give the Daily News family about 2 or 3 more years, at most. Just ensure you keep working your craft through the blog and other opportunities to demonstrate how skilled and crafty you truly are as a wordsmith.

  • DrewB

    ESPN reporting Carroll and Bates possibly to the Seahawks. Everyone jumping ship ahead of NCAA sanctions???

  • Reformed Droog

    Also, your dog is going to die in 4 weeks, your apartment has a slow leak in the sewage return, and you’re actually adopted because your real parents didn’t love you.

  • Anonymous

    was there a game today? no posts as of yet

  • Anonymous

    Carroll to Seahawks is a good thing. I’m hearing that Mike Riley would be first in line to take his place at USC. Not at good thing.

  • Imagine this:

    IF Mike Riley takes the job at USC and IF Pete Carroll gets quickly fired from his job in Seattle and coaches Oregon state wouldn’t that be neato!?

  • Anonymous

    Also Droog is a loser!

  • Reformed Droog

    I am. But like you, I seem to really like being an online dick.