Friday, October 27, 2006

Let bylines be bylines

My university has afforded me (and my colleagues) an opportunity to write for the Oakland Tribune through a class/internship where those enrolled are, more or less, correspondents filing stories that will attract a younger readership. Occasionally we are givien general assignment stories that staff writers have initially refused to do.

Our objective: Get bylines. Bylines equals internships. Right?

So this morning I covered what was essentially a Bay Area cities' environment forum about sustainable and environmentally conscious communities. (Zzzzzzzzz...)

I sat through four hours of discussion, sifting through a ton of jargon. Processing it all nearly induced a seizure. And as the second panel discussion ended, signaling the break before the lunch session, I'm approached by the environmental beat reporter for the Oakland Tribune.

He, paraphrasing his words, missed the fax memo about today's forum, where an author, that he'd been trying to reach for a while, was to speak during the lunch session.

Long story short, he asked if I would write the top of the story and he'd write the bottom for a double byline story.

Had he been there since 8 AM like I had, I would have been more understanding. The only thing I could think to do was call my designated editor at the Tribune. And the double byline was okayed by my editor, which broke my little spirit.

Not only am I constantly told that recruiters do not want to see double bylines as clips, my efforts in trying to get good clips are stifled during "internship application send off" season.

I wrote the story. Supposedly he got the lead. My name will probably be second. I'll just have to see tomorrow how much of a byline the editors thought I deserved after an experienced FTE reporter swooped down for the kill.

Negative or positive experience? I don't know yet.

Posted by Aaron Morrison at 12:23 AM | link

Read or Post a Comment

Double bylines aren't always bad. And don't beat yourself up about this one. It is one clip. You'll have more - with just one name at the top.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 11:11 AM, October 27, 2006 #

I agree with T. Dot. When this stuff happens, think of another story you can produce from the event that will include your own byline. It can run as a side bar complimenting the story or a follow-up the day after or more localized in one of your zone editions.

Posted by Anonymous ETS @ 11:24 PM, October 28, 2006 #
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