Monday, May 16, 2005

Making a rookie error - and paying the price

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Maybe I been running too much and think I'm suddenly 30 again, but I made a rookie error Friday that made Sunday (and today) into a writing nightmare.

I attended a hearing (about which editors are waiting right now for a story) but left before it was over, naively (hence the rookie error) thinking I could talk with the big kahunas running it later in the day to get the policy implications and outcome. Then I went to the event in which the governor unveiled his budget revisions and I thought I understood what I needed to write and had the information (rookie error two, it seems). But the big kahunas disappeared Friday afternoon leaving a whole in my story the size of Crater Lake. And the budget, Jaysus, I can't even talk about it...

So this morning I'm waiting for the various folks to show up at their offices so I can quiz them, pound out the 500 or so words for each story and get my butt downtown to the courthouse for a trial, the basis for a third story (due Wednesday). It's all pretty standard reporting stress, but I got just a little too comfortable with that press pass hanging around my neck, forgetting that whenever you write, you stick your neck waaaay out there.

What hurts most is I know better - and even teach my students not to do what I did Friday. Another story for the classroom this fall, I suppose.

No comments:

Post a Comment