Press day, violence and evening light

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For local newspapers, the dog days of summer take on a new meaning, especially here at The Oshawa Express.

When it comes to content, our readers pick up the paper for our coverage of local politics and regional issues.

Well, when both of those councils are on summer vacation for the next two months, the well tends to run dry after a few weeks.

It’s an opportunity too, don’t get me wrong. Not having to focus so much on what councillors are doing and being buried in dry, municipal reports, or sitting through stuffy council meetings allows one to actually get out into the city and write about some different things.

One of those different things is what I’ve written about in my subsequent post to this one.

You can find that right here.

Today was Tuesday, meaning production and deadline and making the newspaper real.

It’s always exciting watching the batch of stories go from the server folders onto the page and having the freedom to design and layout the pages however I feel. Perks of being the boss I guess.

Putting the final touches on the newspaper generally takes most of the day, and by late afternoon it allows for a bit of time to get myself organized.  I’ll figure out stories for the next issue and have the editorial meeting with my reporter to give him his assignments for the coming week along with hear if he has any stories on the go that I may not know about.

It’s been a pretty violent week here in Oshawa. Two stabbings in one night, a road rage incident that saw a guy hop out of his car and stab the passenger in another, and most recently a ruling was handed down in the Durham courthouse, giving a guy nine years in the pen for attacking two men with a knife outside a bar here in Oshawa.

I’m drawn to these sorts of stories because I know, as a journalist, that crime and blood are always something that leads to purchased papers. These stories also lend themselves well to long features as there’s an inherent line of danger to the story.

But that’s me thinking like a writer and journalist.

In reality, I just wish there was more that I could do to understand why people are so awful to each other some times.

Leaving the office, after reading the 20 page ruling, describing in grizzly detail the attack on a pair of brothers outside this bar that left them both with serious stab wounds, I tried to take my mind off it by snapping some pictures of the nice light filling the world in the parking lot behind our office.

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It helped a bit.

M is coming over later. I think that will help a lot more.

Until tomorrow, thanks for reading, and remember, be nice to people.

J.J.W.