update The Day – Flexibility is key, in life and the news business

The Day’s courts and cops reporter, Taylor Hartz, was winding up her workday this past Tuesday when we heard about a shooting in Norwich.

Photographer Dana Jensen was getting ready to take pictures of a newly located farmers market in Montville.

They both changed their plans and headed for Cedar Street in Norwich to cover the shooting.

Flexibility is key, in life and in the news business.

We didn’t have the colorful photos from the farmer’s market Tuesday that we had planned on for reporter Johana Vazquez’s feature story.

But Hartz and Jensen gathered information and pictures of police and neighbors at the Norwich shooting scene, and we published an important story about a threat to public safety.

The news “budget” we start with each morning, which lists the stories, photos and videos we plan to publish on www.theday.com and in The Day, rarely looks the same by the time our nightside crew signs on to put it all together.

Another night this past week, a reporter informed editors late in the day that the story she was working on, which was slated for the top story position on website and the front page of The Day, was not ready.

We adjusted.

On Thursday, the Navy invited us to tour the Submarine Base in Groton with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney. We assigned a reporter and photographer only to be notified a few hours later that the tour was postponed due to the weather.

We made a new plan and revised the news budget.

We know we’re not telling you anything you don’t know about the dynamic nature of news, and we’re pretty sure you’re also good at adjusting to change.

Who thought that in 2020 the entire human race would have to cancel most of its plans, stay at home for long periods of time?

The pandemic hit our business hard, but we adjusted. We turned the company into a remote operation overnight. The news department put other projects on hold and focused on coronavirus coverage.

And in the middle of the pandemic last summer, we had to pivot again when the death of George Floyd brought led to protests and discussions of systemic racism and police accountability.

By the way, this isn’t the column I planned to write this week. When my other idea fell through, I figured I’d give you a look at the changing nature of news planning.

It’s all about flexibility.

Karen Florin is The Day’s engagement editor. Email her at k.florin@theday.com or call her at (860) 701-4217.

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