Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sept. 22 - Lisa's Musings (on new rules) and Every Day Life

There's nothing meaner than a hungry reporter.

I know. I get really, really nasty when I'm starving.

Maybe it's true of people in other professions, too, but I can only speak to what I know. So, I always bring snacks (sometimes sandwiches) and other "provisions" to meetings.

I'm rarely without my mug of coffee and when that runs out, I become the queen of vending machines. Mountain Dew, anyone?

And although I've been known to grab a free snack here and there, I'll admit it, after an invitation from one of the Ann Arbor Board of Education trustees, I had a plate of dinner before the last board meeting that began at 5:30 and lasted until after 11 p.m.

So today, all the reporters who cover the AA Board of Education got this note from the board secretary.

Food - I have food available for trustees whenever there is an early meeting (5:30 pm or earlier), and meals may be provided if the meeting takes place over many hours (typically more than 3). For budgetary reasons, I typically order meals for the trustees and meeting participants (administrative staff) so I appreciate your being sensitive to that. You're more than welcome to enjoy the snacks, coffee and cold beverages that are typically available.

Length of Meeting - Breaks are an infrequent occurrence, and even though a time limit may be given, please allow me, the superintendent or another board member to gather the remaining trustees to restart the meeting.

(I think this one was directed at me because the break was supposed to be 10 minutes and after 20 minutes, I announced that I was heading out into another room to round up the troops and get the meeting restarted. I have better things to do with my night than spend it waiting around. Even if I am getting paid.) So I plead guilty to this one.

Meeting Attendance/Participation - As guests of meetings, you are requested to sit on the periphery of whatever meeting room is being used, or at the spaces designated for media. Conference table seating is reserved for trustees and those participating in the meeting itself. If warranted, and whenever possible, a meeting will be moved to a larger room in order to accommodate an overflow of guests.

OK, I'm fine with this because I always sit away from everyone else on the sidelines (by myself) wherever possible. Less germs that way.

Questions/clarification - should you need to clarify information for reporting purposes, please see me prior to or after meetings, or during break times. It's fine to ask questions of trustees before or after meetings, or during break times as time allows.

I'm good with this one, too, as I've always asked my questions at the appropriate times.

For the meetings today, please be prepared to provide your own meals; I will have water and coffee and limited snacks available for the public. We have a kitchen available with a refrigerator and microwave. Feel free to make use of the extra tables that will be in the conference room for your laptop, etc.

No problem -- not going to this meeting so ...

But "assisting in" getting those trustees back in session -- now that one I have a problem with ... guess I'll have to bring more magazines to the next meeting.

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