Saturday, May 28, 2005

Now, It Gets a Little Harder ...

Summertime - measured, at least, by society, if not yet by Mother Nature - has begun. School's are letting out for the summer break ... and they aren't the only institutions that are settling into 'summer mode.'

You feel the effect of summer break in the news business, as well. In some ways, our job just got a little harder ... as it does every time this year. Right now, there is an avalanche of stories out there. But that will soon change.

Graduation ceremonies, in general, are always good for coverage. But also those features that inevitably crop up this time of year, about special graduates ... an elderly individual who left school for some reason, and now has come back to receive a diploma ... or some youngster that has beat the odds, someone fighting a serious illness, or a single mother, or a former gang member.

The sports reporters are busy as the last few holdouts among high school athletes finally sit down and sign letters-of-intent with some college.

(Speaking of sports, and a story that's still developing, good luck to the Andrews Lady Mustangs as they head to the state softball Final 4)

End-of-the-year honorees, young people being recognized for outstanding academics, or attendance, or whatever.

Inevitably, there will be some report on a tragedy ... a young life lost in the midst of all the end-of-school celebrations. At the same time, we'll hear about special efforts by the police to get people to slow down, to avoid drinking-and-driving, to wear a seat belt. With all those efforts, maybe ... just maybe ... we won't have one of those stories this year.

(Speaking of that, the various 'Project Graduation' efforts around West Texas also make for good reports. )

A LOT of stories in a relatively short period of time. Then, it becomes what Elmer Fudd might describe as "vewy, vewy, quiet ..."

With the advent of summer break comes a three-month lull in one of the traditional sources of news and sports stories ... the schools.

Of course, there ARE other stories out there. But during the summer, they don't have to compete with the school stories. It's a good chance to produce more 'On the Road' features, heading out and about West Texas to uncover some of the all-too-often overlooked points of interest that are out there.

A little more phone work, a little more leg work, more time on the road ... but very much worth it.

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