By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief
I’ve recently been reading a book called The Dilettantes, which is a story about SFU’s student newspaper, The Peak, and their struggle to compete against Vancouver’s Metro newspaper.
Now this isn’t any sort of a review—I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book. One thing I noticed in the 103 or so pages I’ve made my way through so far, however, is that the structure of The Peak’s newspaper differs greatly from ours here at the Other Press.
Or at least it did back around 2012, when the book was written.
So I figured I’d give you, our dedicated readers, a little rundown of how this newspaper comes into existence. It’s a week-long journey filled with deadlines, some tired editors, one rowdy meeting, and the occasional bottle of wine.
It all starts on a Monday.
We 20 or so staff members (and literally anyone else who wants to join us, we’re not picky) gather in the dungeonous room 1020 at Douglas College’s New West campus at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Well, occasionally 6:35 p.m., if any of the editors are late—and there’s usually at least one.
We spend about an hour going over announcements, pitching story ideas to sections, and doing an exit proof of our last issue, during which all the mistakes I made at last week’s production are pointed out by my peers.
Talk about constructive criticism.
With all the sections suitably filled, the crowds disperse, sent back home to type up their 400-600 work articles by Thursday noon. Those go to the section editors, who then have until Saturday noon to write their own work, edit the others, and get that full package—be it Humour, News, Sports, etc.—over to our Assistant Editor, Rebecca Peterson, to read, edit, offer feedback on, and fact check.
Finally, the full issue arrives in my inbox, freshly edited, at noon on Sunday. I read through the entire issue, fix mistakes, procrastinate, fact-check again, and deem solid enough for print. I then pen my Lettitor—because if I put it off until Monday night, we’d be working away into the a.m., and our Production Manager is not about that life—and write it about whatever I so choose.
For this week, you’re getting a play-by-play of our newspaper’s production because I couldn’t think of anything better. So sue me. (Please don’t.)
Then the whole thing starts over again, with a pitch meeting on Monday—except after that meeting, production gets to work. All the articles are laid out nice and neat, new photos are dragged in, the issue # is changed—hopefully also the date—and some new feature and cover art is created.
I take a look over the final product, mark down corrections, and make the necessary changes.
A few other computer things are done to the file that I still don’t understand, and before I know it I’m on the phone with WebExpress (the printers) to confirm that they’ve received this shiny new version of the Other Press.
If it’s all send right and proper—and that’s a big if—we highfive, hightail it down the hill, and head home the same night that our writers are (ideally) scribbling away to get a jump-start on the next issue.
Tuesday morning, when the papers are still warm from being freshly printed, our Distribution Manager grabs them and delivers them to the stands around both campuses, where they will eventually be picked up by you.
Congrats, and thank you for doing your part in this awesome, stressful, somehow worth-while cycle that is the production of the Other Press.
We hope you do the same thing next week.