Archive for the ‘On the job’ Category

Charleston Daily Mail, early 1990s version

Monday, July 13, 2015

On days when we’re feeling nostalgic around here, we take a look at this video, which was made as a promotion for the Charleston Daily Mail around 1993:

The music is very intense. The voiceover is by longtime Charleston broadcaster Jim Reader. And the photographer with hair to match the times is Tom Hindman, who is still going strong on our staff (but with shorter hair.) Other than the tube-looking computers, our newsroom looks very much the same — cubicles, carpet and chairs. Obituaries, mentioned here as a free service, became a paid service several years ago and now are compiled in a department outside the newsroom. The process that’s depicted to receive photographs from the Associated Press… uh, that’s no longer the process.

The editor’s office is the one I (mostly) sit in. In the video, the editor is Dave Greenfield. His version of the office is much neater, and his hair is a lot better than mine. And his mustache? It’s off the charts.

At this point, in addition to the other steps in newspaper production being portrayed, we’d add post to web, Facebook (as a verb), tweet and possibly fire off a push notification.

In addition to enjoying this walk down memory lane, we hope you’re still enjoying your Charleston Daily Mail in print and/or online.

When the press is running, it’s humming

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

If you’re a subscriber to one of The Charleston newspapers, you probably know by now that we’ve had some printing problems resulting in significant delivery delays.

Believe me, a lot of people here are very concerned and are trying to solve the problems.

Describing what is happening isn’t hard: Long rolls of paper run through a big blue printing press that is 100 feet long and 30 feet high. The paper has been snapping repeatedly partway through the press run, resulting in long delays to reconfigure and get going again.

Then it snaps again.

Describing why it’s happening is more complicated: In addition to care and expertise from the experienced press crew at Charleston Newspapers, the company has had outside experts examine the press and the paper in the search for a solution.

If you’ve been puzzling over the problem, it’s helpful to visualize the press as the paper runs through it. I took video today while it was running pretty smoothly.

This is press room manager Matt Hindman inspecting the press:

Here’s an image of a page from the Daily Mail:

Here’s the press running slowly:

Here it is going faster:

And here’s another angle:

Journalism isn’t for chickens

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Harding's Family Restaurant in Mink Shoals uses a seasoned mix and a combination pressure cooker/deep fryer to create fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Harding’s Family Restaurant in Mink Shoals uses a seasoned mix and a combination pressure cooker/deep fryer to create fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

There comes a time when you must set aside your own needs for the good of the team. And you can only hope that you can answer that call when it comes. Yesterday was my time.

My colleague, features editor Zack Harold, had written the second installment of his series on fried chicken, which he calls the perfect summer food.

This week’s piece focused on area family-style restaurants and their takes on this deep-fried delicacy. (And here we observe a moment of silence for the Kanawha City’s late, lamented Southern Kitchen and as well as South Charleston’s Farm Table. Amen.)

Zack found two local eateries that still flour their own chickens and fry them on the premises — The Grill on Charleston’s West Side and Harding’s Family Restaurant in Mink Shoals.

Owing to the The Grill’s semi-regular fried chicken availability — they only serve every other Friday, including this one, so you’re in luck this week — he hoped to arrange a photo opportunity at Harding’s.

Well, circumstances being what they are, the photo shoot fell through and the story was going to run minus any illustration of fried chicken.

“How can we run story about golden, delicious, family-style fried chicken without a picture of golden, delicious, family-style fried chicken? This cannot stand,” I thought to myself. “This. Cannot. Stand.”

So I got on the horn and called Harding’s and ordered takeout. Leg and thigh. Mashed potatoes. Green beans. Dinner roll. Eight bucks.

I took a shot of the platter with my iPhone in the rays of the setting sun in the back of my Jeep. Being late in the day, the shadows were already too deep, so I shot it again in the newsroom for the quick and dirty shot you see above.

As I am not a professional photographer, I can’t say I did the meal justice, but I hope I made it at least look appetizing.

In real-life, just to let you know, even as takeout it was mighty appetizing. And in keeping with the lessons of my first grade teacher, Sister Doris, I didn’t want this food to go to waste, so I took one for the team and selflessly disposed of it.

It was delicious.

(In the name of journalistic integrity, of course, I should probably also head out to The Grill this Friday — just for comparison’s sake.)