14 Hours - A Day in the Life

Joel’s Journal - January 29, 2018 - Volume 3 - Entry #29 


*Deep breath*

Let’s dive in.  

5:45 a.m. - 6:15 a.m.

It’s an early start, but with a crazy busy day ahead, it was the only time I knew I would be able to get the fiction writing in to keep the story flowing and the streak alive; that’s 29 straight days!

7 a.m. to 8 a.m. 

On the typical morning, I make the drive from Toronto to Oshawa, pick up a newspaper and head to the office to read and have my second coffee of the day. 

Today was not a typical day. 

Overnight there was a double shooting in the city that left one dead and another in hospital. 

So, I still grabbed my newspaper, but when I made it to the city, I was bundled up and headed straight to the scene to try and get some further details. 

The officers on scene didn’t share much more than what I already knew, but I was able to get some pictures of the forensics team at work before heading back to the office. 

8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. 

I poured my regular coffee, and flipped open the newspaper to read the top stories. 

8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Flipping closed the newspaper and leaving the remaining sections for later. I turned my attention to the bloated inboxes filling my computer screen. As editor, there’s a plethora of junk mail that constantly fills my personal account, the editor email account, along with a few other active accounts from past editors that still get the odd useful tidbit of information. 

Most of it is slush, and it takes a lot of sleuthing through the nonsense that comes in to find the good stuff, whether it be a an event notification, news tip, or the odd useful press release. 

The good ones are catalogued, marking the upcoming dates, and any that I will be assigning to my reporter I print off and leave on his desk. 

With that out of the way, I poured another cup of coffee and turned to writing some stories. 

I had about an hour, and I was able to finalize a story on the city’s internal audit processes and how they’re looking for ways to save money in the coming years. 

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

With one story out of the way, I tossed my coat back on, snatched my phone from where it was charging on the desk, and headed back out into the cold, on my way to the Durham Courthouse. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently covering the ongoing murder case of Rori Hache, a young Oshawa teen who was murdered last year. 

It’s a pretty graphic and unsettling case, and it’s attracted a lot of media attention. 

The suspect arrested in connection to the murder was scheduled to be back in court at 10:30 a.m. 

However, in typical Ontario justice system fashion, there was a slight delay and he appeared around 11 a.m., once again via video. 

I was sitting a few rows behind Rori’s mother, who has been at each court appearance, surrounded by a group of supporters. 

There wasn’t much movement in the case. The man, Adam Strong, had been approved for Legal Aid, but had yet to obtain a lawyer. So, things were put over once again, with a subsequent appearance scheduled for Feb. 6. 

12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Writing. Writing. Writing. 

With a free chunk of hours I was able to sit at the desk and crank out the majority of my content for this week’s issue, which included a deep dive into the Durham Regional Police body worn camera project, an update from our MP on his role in NAFTA talks following a recent Washington visit, and follow-up stories regarding the Patrick Brown allegations and responses from our local PC members, along with the update on the Rori Hache investigation. 

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

With the writing out of the way, I turned my attention to the other content for the paper (written by my reporter) and check it for errors and facts before starting on design of the paper. This is perhaps one of the jobs I’ve come to love most about being the editor. Taking the initial paper designs and slotting the stories into position and envisioning a front page that will be really eye-catching is oddly satisfying.

6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. 


It was a busy meeting with a series of presentations including one from our local hospital on the creation of a document to guide decision making for the next 25 plus years, along with a visit from the Chief of Police and our MPP. 

I was able to write stories during the meeting on both the discussions from the Police Chief and the hospital discussion before packing up and hitting the road for Toronto. 

I was beat.

The end. 

Thanks for reading, 


Joel Wittnebel