The great Christmas/New Year’s rush is over

Well, got back to the grind this week after taking virtually-forced vacation time around Christmas and New Year’s.

I was planning to re-schedule two weeks of cancelled vacation time from the summer to Christmas anyway but Human Resources let me know in the fall that I had unused vacay time and I had better use it before the end of the calendar year. So, being an obedient employee (you know how scary human resource accountants are), I booked the time off around Christmas and left the keys to the editorial car to my able reporters.

Christmas is kind of a tricky time when it comes to putting out the newspaper, so dumping my share of the work onto my two co-workers was not without some challenge. For them. For me it’s great. On my last scheduled work day Dec. 20, I shut down my computer, put on my coat and said, “See ya!”

Of course, it’s not that simple. Work is never far away from your mind when you’re an editor. It doesn’t help that these days, we have to constantly keep in touch with our social media apps like Slack (a popular corporate internal communications forum, if you didn’t know). So, even though I posted the palm tree icon beside my name on the Slack feed indicating “on vacation,” I still monitored all the posts.

The tricky part about the Christmas season for the newspaper publishing business is that you have to accommodate the stat holidays of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Especially when they land on a publishing day. That means pres deadlines are pushed ahead, sometimes resulting in two deadlines in one day. The press workers do not work on holidays and that means all the papers served by that press (in Ladysmith with regards to our Vancouver Island papers) have to get their print products in early and within a condensed time frame. More papers to press in fewer days to do them than normal.

That’s so the paper can be put out on the street ahead of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and not require our paper carriers to work those days. So, hopefully, you got your two papers sometime between Dec. 23 and 27 and again Dec. 30 Jan. 3.

You probably noticed how small the papers were and that they contained a lot of year-in-review type of material. That’s because besides being an appropriate time of year for a look back, there is also not a lot of time to dig up regular content given the short turnaround times between press deadlines. You’ve got to put something on those pages. That’s one fact of newspaper publishing at any time of the year. Even if you don’t have anything, you still have to fill those pages with something.

So, we did a couple of papers on my last day and then I left the rest to the remaining team. They did a good job. Newspapers, have that old tradition of never missing a publication date, regardless of what we have – or don’t have – to put in it. Actually, we have missed one publication date, that I can remember. It was back in the 90’s when there was that massive snowstorm that brought Vancouver Island to a standstill, particularly down-Island communities – Victoria and Ladysmith, where we had our printing presses at the time. Our bosses decided, forget it, cancel the Christmas week papers. They don’t usually have a lot of advertising in them anyway. At that time, we were still driving the physical “flats” of the newspaper pages to the press. Now, of course, it’s all done electronically.

So, it can be kind of a grind around Christmas with getting the newspaper out. But that’s behind us now and we look ahead to the new year. I hope you all had a good Christmas/New Year holiday and that success, health and good times come your way in 2020.

Alistair Taylor is Editor of the Campbell River Mirror.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP to focus on domestic violence awareness and prevention

One of the most disturbing crimes that officers deal with in the… Continue reading

Willow Point Elementary needs your vote

Library initiative vying for prize money in Follett Challenge

Friday is the deadline for students to get Bowl for Breath registration in

Calling all students – the 32nd Cystic Fibrosis Bowl for Breath needs… Continue reading

Citizen birders contribute to 120th annual Christmas Bird Count

Species tallied in Campbell River, Cortes and Quadra Islands and Port McNeill

Campbell River Museum hits the 15 year mark for its Used Book Sale

Book donations are now being accepted and can be brought to the Museum’s back door off of 4th Ave

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Rainfall warning issued for east Vancouver Island

Warning issued for area from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Most Read