There’s an old saying: When it rains, it pours.
It poured Saturday night.
I was at the Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce banquet, listening to a Nashville, Tenn., band that formed in Arkansas, Eden’s Edge, when I noticed that red light blinking on my blackberry.
I told the staff I’d be out of pocket for a few hours, but that didn’t stop that little red light from letting me know I had a message waiting.
I didn’t want to be rude, so I questioned whether I should even check it. It can wait, I told myself.
A few seconds later I found myself unlocking the phone and scrolling through my e-mails to see what that red light was trying to tell me that so important.
Minutes later I was heading back to the office. You see, my red light informed me that a natural gas well near Mount Vernon exploded.
After getting back to the office, I was working with staff members to track down contacts to get more information about the burning gas rig when a call came across the police scanner that we constantly monitor.
Police were investigating a body found behind a shopping center in Conway. So, then I found myself trying to track down another reporter to cover that story.
A few minutes later, I got a call from a sports reporter.
"It’s gonna be a bit of a scramble tonight," the reporter said without a clue to the happenings in the newsroom. "UCA just dismissed Rand Chappell," the men’s basketball coach.
All of these news stories developed after 8 p.m., and I found myself wondering what else could possibly happen on this Saturday night.
Luckily, that was enough doom and gloom for the evening, and we didn’t have another breaking news story come down the pike.
A few breaking news events literally reversed a few hours of page designers’ work, and they were starting over from scratch.
But that’s what we sign up for in this business, and it had to be done.
After tearing apart Sunday’s front page, and scrambling to scrape up enough last-minute information to fill the paper, I caught myself thinking about our online products at www.thecabin.net.
For our online products, it doesn’t take hours to "tear apart" the home page. A few clicks, and voila, it’s done.
Times sure have changed.
Here at the Log Cabin, we hang our hat on our print products. We’re as proud of them today as we were some 130 years ago when this paper started.
But Saturday night reminded me how much technology altered this business in just a few short years.
Online, hours can be reduced to minutes — even seconds. Thanks to cellular phones, we don’t have to wait until we get back to the office to "file" a story. Thanks to the Web, we don’t have to wait hours while a newspaper is designed, printed, inserted and delivered to get breaking news to the public.
We live in a world of instant communication, and newspapers have to adapt to that format.
Nights like Saturday don’t happen often, but when they do — I know we’re prepared.