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Down To The Wire

October 27, 2015
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Here at the offices of The Reporter and The Democrat, we've benn running a little race. It's known as the deadline to the Progress Edition, our annual report on the positives and accomplishments in our county during the past year.

This multi-section edition will arrive in your hands along with today's issue of The Reporter, and it is my hope, along with everyone on our staff, that you will find it informative and entertaining. A lot of effort goes into the creation of this edition, starting with the accomplishments of the residents of our county.

But let me back up a bit.

Creating the Progress Edition each year is very much like following a recipe. You have to start out by gathering the ingredients that you'll need, along with the appropriate utensils to do the job.

Just like cooking, there is preparation time, which in this case, involves interviewing a business owner or individual about their new venture or accomplishment. The next step in the preparation is mixing the ingredients. The editorial staff (that's a fancy name for the reporter folks) take the notes and information, along with photographs, because we all know a photo is worth a thousand words, and combine everything into a story that, given the correct mixture and preparation, turns out as an informative and entertaining piece.

Now while we're out gathering story information and taking pictures, our advertising representatives are contacting businesses to sell advertising that can highlight the business and its offerings. Working with our creative division, the ad representatives will prepare the ads, proof them with the advertisers, and when approved, the ads become an other ingredient in our Progress Issue.

A little sidelight here, but the number of pages in any newspaper depend on the advertising support. The more ads, the more pages. Less ads, less pages. Simple, actually.

But back to our subject. When the ads are completed, our staff figures out a design of pages with the ads, which gives the editorial folks an idea of just how much space is available to us to tell the stories we've gathered. Earlier on in the process, we all try to write as much as we can, because early on, we really don't know how much space we will have available.

Once the pages have been set up, the challenge begins. Just like putting together a puzzle, the editorial staff has to take the completed stories and photographs and start putting them on the pages, making them fit the available space. Sometimes, we can't use all the photos we want, so it becomes a matter of picking the photos that best tell the story.

Now, for the title of this piece - Down to the Wire. To tell the truth, this past Saturday was the last day to work on the Progress issue. Although we had a pretty good start going into Saturday, it was still a long day's work to finish up the pages and send them off to our printing facility in Webster City.

But that's when it gets nerve-racking - because we don't get to see the final finished product until this morning, just like you do. But, I'm sure that you'll be both entertained and informed by what we've prepared for you.

It's been an interesting run this year, with our editor sidelined for about a month, but we've persevered and hope that you will find Progress 2015 to be an accurate record of the accomplishments of Palo Alto County.

Happy Reading!



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