15 August 2006

Print journalism 'best before' dates

There's no doubt about it, I do find it hard to get my head around the idea of designing/writing articles with a long shelf life.

I had an article rejected (quite fairly) by an editor yesterday because it was too timely. I was expecting it to be published in a few weeks, and in fact it won't appear till October.

Although I've written loads of freelance articles - one-offs and series - for various magazines over the years, I'm really a broadcast journalist - working on radio or the Internet. So when I write something, it is for broadcast or publication within a few hours.

Sure, I've made plenty of radio programmes to be aired in a week's time when I would be away, or for multiple airings, and for those you've got to be very careful about how you refer to things temporally so it doesn't sound strange.

But writing about something contemporary which will have happened two months ago (a lifetime!) for the reader is really strange!


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