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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Sept. 26, 2023

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From the Newsroom: And now, holiday deadlines

By , Columbian Editor

Now that the election is all but over — the ballots are nearly all counted, but the certification date isn’t until Nov. 29 — it should be back to normal for the news.

Except for Thanksgiving. One big event leads right into another for the newsroom this year.

We’ll be working some odd hours next week to accommodate special printing and delivery schedules. The Thanksgiving Day print edition is usually the largest of the year, packed full of advertising supplements so Black Friday shoppers can plan their strategy even as they eat their second slice of pumpkin pie. It takes extra time to stuff all of the inserts and get papers onto driveways.

So once again, we’ll print the Thursday paper well in advance. In fact, the press is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Yes, our Thursday paper will be printed before our Wednesday paper. We did it last year, too.

We’ve got several strategies in place to work around that oddity.

For A1, Life reporter Scott Hewitt has been working on an in-depth feature story that seems appropriate to run on Thanksgiving. That’s all I will say for now. Scott, who marked his 25th anniversary as a Columbian reporter this year, is a gifted storyteller who likes to “go long” and dive into stories. We’ll give him plenty of space, as we will print a four-section newspaper.

We’ll fill the rest of the front section with a mix of wire stories, including features, while avoiding what we call “spot” news that will be outdated by the time you get your paper. Most of all, we’ll avoid picking stories for a Thursday paper that will need a follow-up that would appear in the Wednesday paper!

The Sports section will be another challenge. We’ll solve that by presenting our all-region teams and athletes for fall prep sports.

Our Life section is always produced several days in advance, so there aren’t any problems there. We’ll anchor it with our comprehensive list of local holiday events.

Finally, instead of a Metro section, we’ll once again present our holiday gift guide, curated by features reporter and food writer Monika Spykerman.

Of course, we will post breaking news on our website and send alerts if warranted. (If you want to receive alerts, sign up at columbian.com/newsletters.)

The rest of the week looks a little more normal, with a late press start on Monday for the Tuesday paper, and an early press start on Tuesday for the Wednesday paper. Readers shouldn’t see a difference.

We’ll give a lot of our journalists time off toward the end of the week. In order to grant as many vacation requests as possible, Metro Editor Mark Bowder asked every reporter to do one extra feature story, with art, that can run anytime between Wednesday and the following Tuesday. If past patterns hold true, we’ll get a variety of interesting stories that reporters have been wanting to do for a while.

A final word on endorsements

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that our editorial board, of which I am member, had endorsed both Republicans and Democrats for public office. The final tally ended up being four candidates from each party endorsed for eight federal, state and local offices. Although the board didn’t consider party labels when making endorsements, that seems pretty centrist to me.

So, how did our endorsed candidates do in the election? Why, it turns out that all eight were elected! (Note: In the race for secretary of state, we endorsed Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was the winner. However, his challenger, independent Julie Anderson, beat him in Clark County.)

Once again, I’ll try to tell this to the next person who calls to say our editorial page is out of touch with voters, or endorses only extreme partisans. Do you think they will listen?