Monday, February 13, 2006

Newspaper's most difficult job

What is the most difficult job in community newspapering?
The most rewarding experience in working in the community press is that one gets to experience practically all aspects of the operations.
It is different from working in a national newspaper because it is more compartmentalized.
Working in a community newspaper one does everything. It is not surprising if the editor is the news gatherer, the news writer, the proofreader, the layout editor, the marketing executive, the sales executive, even the printer.
In my boyhood I was exposed to community newspaper business. So I got to experience the different types of jobs in this business.
Long before I even landed in a desk job of news transcriber, I worked the manual labor.
The newspaper was then printed through letterpress. Desktop publishing was a yet a thing of the future at that time.
I was a newsboy, I folded the papers ready for letterpress impression. I knew how to operate the Minerva.
The Minerva is a brand name of what perhaps is the equivalent now of the Hewlett Packard laser printer.
The Minerva was a monster of a machine.
Although operating the Minerva was a dangerous job, for me it wasn’t the most difficult.
The most difficult job in the community newspaper operation is the delivery of the paper to the homes of subscribers.
There were subscribers of our newspaper to whom we had to deliver personally.
As a teenager, I took on this job.
When everything was printed at dawn of Sunday, the delivery begins after all the pages were “inserted” (manually).
I rode in a motorcycle, and together with a companion we started the delivery at 4 a.m.
This job perhaps is nothing different from delivering the bread, or delivering the mails to the homes of recipients or addressees.
This is a very tiresome job. It is physically demanding. It was because we had to deliver the newspapers to subscribers from dawn, which was very cold, until after noontime, which was very hot.
I had to be directly exposed to sunlight most of the time. I had to wear sweaters even under the scorching heat just to protect myself from direct sun exposure. I wore a baseball cap.
At the end of the day, I would feel really exhausted. This job will really test the limits.
I feel for people whose job is having to be exposed to direct sunlight.
Newsboys, the mail men, delivery boys, ice cream vendors, or evenperhaps the Mormons…they have one of the most difficult jobs.
If you work inside an office in a building, away from the punishing heat, be thankful.
You have no reason to complain.

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