Sarasota News Leader

11/30/2012

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Even without a calendar, I would know the holiday season is upon us by the sheer volume of email that pops up in my inbox each day. Of course, the fact that we will be starting "Season" after the holiday season adds a geometric multiplicative factor to that other email — more arts and entertainment, more fundraisers, more everything! Each week, one of my responsibilities is determining what goes into the News Briefs. Some of that selection process is pegged to timing (and, I confess, memory). Because our deadline is Thursday, items that came in the preceding Thursday or Friday end up that much further down in the email list for the next week, if they didn't already get transferred to the News Briefs. I do try to "capture" items as they come in and start a document for the next week's briefs, but that effort easily can get pushed aside as my attention is called to final page proofs. My primary goal with the News Briefs is providing you with a good mix of topics. In my previous roles as an editor for print publications, we often grabbed news releases for use as fillers. Some are still quite helpful for that purpose. However, I do try to give good play to items that are not big enough to stand alone as news stories, yet are important enough that they should catch your attention. I also like to think that throwing in a story about a robbery behind a city announcement about a street closing, for example, keeps you looking through the whole News Briefs section, just to see what you can spy. In that respect, you might think of the section in terms of mining for gemstones: Not every pebble is going to show promise, but you should find at least one gem or two every time. Editor and Publisher

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