I'm working on the deadline for the print paper - and amazingly, all but one of my pages are done hours ahead of when they usually get sent down. Which has got me pondering again on one of my favourite obsessions at the moment - how do you adapt deadlines for a weekly paper to a daily website?
So far, we have been doing this on a pretty ad hoc basis, and to be honest, it shows with the site. I raised eyebrows the other day by saying most of our stories don't develop over the course of the week. I think I was misunderstood, so I should clarify: they usually don't develop of themselves over the week, but we do a hell of a lot of development to them. But - it should be possible to do that development to each story over a shorter amount of time, concentrate our energies on them one at a time, surely?
Of course, that bugbear of all newspaper offices, the press office, has to shoulder a large part of the blame for holding back when stories can be filed. They know our deadlines better than we do! When I moved from a weekly to a daily a few years ago, it amazed me how quickly press officers came back to queries. It can be done. So one of the biggest tasks in moving to a more daily mindset is convincing our regular press contacts to do the same. Quite a steep task.
There's no doubt that convincing those who Jay Rosen so charmingly calls curmudgeons is about changing mindsets. But on a more practical point, I think it's also about changing habits - and not just within the newsroom.