Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Editor's multitasking all in a night's work

Today's story on the arrest of Willie Lee Shannon, an Ellenton resident, in a 20-year-old cold case out of Las Vegas is a great opportunity to highlight how much newsroom jobs have changed.

You'll notice the byline: Brent Conklin. Notice the photo credit as well: Brent Conklin. What most of you don't know: Who was the Night Metro Editor? Brent Conklin.

Brent's evening, albeit a bit more hectic than others, really wasn't out of the ordinary anymore. We got the tip on the story late Tuesday afternoon, when our night cop reporter Paradise Afshar was already covering the ceremonial cutting of the metal beam from Ground Zero. Southern Manatee Fire Rescue is transforming the 3,000-pound beam into a 9/11 monument here in Bradenton.

So Brent picked up a reporter's notebook and a camera and headed to Shannon's neighborhood, looking for leads and background information on the suspect. He spent the rest of the night tracking down the story from Manatee and Las Vegas law enforcement officials. He found the online story by the Las Vegas Sun, and called the editors there. He posted the story and photo to, updating throughout the night. He wrote the 1A story for today's editions, and shared it out to the Sun.

And Brent still was the night editor, editing all the late copy, proofing all the pages and setting up coverage for today.

In his nitenote, Brent humbly wrote:

"Phew. It was a wild night with writing that Shannon story and having to read two stories each from Paradise and Beth, and Lembo’s MANATEE story. Apologies in advance if any typo(s) got through."

And my Bradenton Herald was still on my driveway by at least 5:30 a.m., when I first checked.


-- Joan

1 comment:

Annette said...

Hey Brent - If you weren't already a Starbucks fan, the Night Metro Editor gig will quickly cement your addiction to quality java. I have complete faith you can tackle whatever comes your way. It's a great job to have. :) Best wishes!