"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Writing for food--reporter's journey

Two of five reporter's notebooks I filled in a month...Yes, my handwriting is getting worse.

This has been my slowest month of blogging since I started. But I have been writing, for food, at the daily business newspaper in downtown Oklahoma City, Journal Record.

I added it up and had 30 stories of differing lengths in 19 days, plus one editorial column.
I learned about oil company production and financial quarterly reports, and a lot more. The staff does two stories a day, minimum, and I got close, but missed two days be cause of the OPA sponsored honor flight I took May 17 to DC.

Most fun were longer articles interviewing John Belt about his Paseo projects; Bob Blackburn about historic buildings, features on Fort Reno and the Guthrie Masonic temple., interviews with a green cleaner and a Paseo artist, the tornado storm story, and attending meetings on Devon's building sale and a hearing on building demolitions--plus two brief posts on the web on deadline.

Lessons--I got faster the more I did; I can still make deadline; the morning commute through interesting neighborhoods (I avoided Broadway Extension), I still enjoy the atmosphere and humor of the newsroom, and I'm thankful for copy editors who save me. It's fun to hold a reporter's notebook in your hand, take notes and interview people. And, there's nothing like a byline on page 1.

Here's the list of other things I wrote: Energy company quarterly financial and operational report stories: Devon, SandRidge, Panhandle, Evolution, Enterra, Gulfport. Others: Medical building sale, FSB architecture story, Freede tower, Texadelphia, Arpin movers, OCCC speaker, Lake gasoline leak, KCSC, Unhealthy City, Habitat for Humanity move, Oklahoma home foreclosures.

And on Friday, it's great to head home with a sense of accomplishment.

Thanks to all the folks at the JR.

-30-

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