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How would you like to see how this job is really done?

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:40 a.m. CST

I mean no disrespect when I say this, but you have no idea how we do what we do here at the Daily News. Even if you worked here (fill in the blank) years ago, our operation today would be almost entirely foreign to you.

I can tell you, it has changed a lot over the last few years. In the span of my relatively short career — 14 years now — I have watched the technology we use on a regular basis jump by leaps and bounds. In college, and at my very first job, we still used the “paste-up” method of designing the newspaper.

Today, with a computer, I can build a far more appealing page in about a quarter of the time.

I can also tell you technology has permeated every aspect of the newspaper production process. In my 14 years, I’ve been a news reporter, a circulation manager, a sports editor, a pressman, a mailroom inserter, a copy editor, a features writer, a columnist, an arts and entertainment writer, a magazine editor, a group newspaper editor and a newspaper publisher.

When I say I know how it’s done, I mean it. I just think it’s high time some of you got a chance to see how it all works.

This Friday, I will be speaking to a group of local non-profit organizations at a luncheon sponsored by the Newton Greater Area Chamber of Commerce. The subject will be ways non-profits can get their information in your hands better, faster and in a way you will be inclined to read it.

Frankly, I’d like to share that information with more of you. But, the space limitations of a newspaper won’t allow me to do that. So, instead, I’m going to offer those of you who frequently submit material to the newspaper — and those of you who are just curious about how we do this thing called journalism in the 21st century — an opportunity to learn it for yourself.

The Newton Daily News Citizens Journalism Academy will begin 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, and run the next four Thursday evenings. We’ll start with the basics: a tour of the Daily News, followed by a discussion of the building blocks of journalism.

In subsequent weeks, we will tackle more specific issues, such as how to write effective press releases, how to avoid plagiarism and libel/defamation, and even how to take good-looking photos with inexpensive, off-the-store-shelf cameras. Each session will last about 90 minutes, so there will be plenty of time for Q&A, and everyone will go home with a note packet they can share with others.

This would be a great opportunity for club reporters, for community organizations that frequently submit news items to the local media, for local students interested in a career in journalism, or for those who are just plain curious. Unfortunately, space is limited, so the seats will be filled on a first come, first served, basis.

If this is something you would like to do, you can sign up by calling or emailing me. My contact information is below.

If you’re reading this, thank a teacher. If you’re reading it in English, thank a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

Editor Bob Eschliman may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 423, or at beschliman@newtondailynews.com via email.

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