Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aside Bar - From the Editor

Is it November already? I am already feeling left behind by whirls of activity and the holidays are not yet upon us.

And I don't just mean in my personal life. Professionally, I'm feeling as if the rest of the world is moving on without me while I'm putting out the fire of the day (or fires, on some days) and not making any headway on the pile of archiving on my desk and other tasks on my to-do list.

Are the days moving faster? Am I moving slower?

How do I push my way back out front of the rush? I don't like to say no to a reasonable request because that just discourages reporters and editors from asking the next time. Plus, as a colleague on our online staff said the other day: no one has free time for anything anymore.

Am I less thorough in my work? Sorry, but this is a definite no.

Do I hand off work to a colleague? As I mentioned earlier, no one else has free time either -- and we all have backlogs. I am doing more push back, as in getting a reporter to a certain point and having him or her make the phone calls. Plus, when I'm the only one who knows the best ways to soothe a savage archive, I have no choice but to pull the burr from the tiger's paw myself. But having unique skills has its own rewards.

Lately, I've been trying to embrace the backlog. I can't change the nature of the work or the daily addition to the pile, so I focus on what I can do at that moment. I climb it, bit by bit. Some days there are lulls and I make headway, and others where I slip down the rocks a bit. But I will still get there eventually.

What are you doing to make headway as you make do with less? Leave your ideas in the comments.

--Julie Domel

Friday, November 04, 2011

Washington Post ombudsman lauds paper's researcher

In his blog, Omblog, Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton corrects a previous post where he neglected to mention the work of Post researcher Alice Crites in the debunking of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's embellished past. Personally, I was impressed that the reporter himself took Pexton to task for the omission.

Pexton then goes on to praise the work of the entire Post research team: "Without them, Post stories, particularly investigative ones, would not reach the quality that they often do."

So true!

--Julie Domel