Chicon 2000

Daily Newszine

Rev. 17-Jul-2000
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Chaz Boston Baden,

Chicon 2000's Daily Newsletter is under the overall direction of Chaz Boston Baden and the "Pan-Galactic Publishing" crew. Our News Desk will be near Registration and Sales to Members, downstairs in the Hyatt Regency. If you want to contribute something to the newsletter, the best way is to stop by the News Desk. Or put a note in one of the drop envelopes on the "news boards" (see below).

If you have something for the morning issue, get it to us the night before.

If you plan to throw a party, tell us as soon as you can. You could write to right now, in fact. We understand you won't know your room number until you check in, but we can make sure you're listed in the Party List if you tell us about it early. (If you tell us whose name the room will be under, we may even be able to find out the room number on our own.)

The Daily Newsletter will appear at least twice a day through the last morning of the convention. (Probably at least three times a day.) The morning edition will be on the stands before daytime programming begins, and the evening edition will be on the stands before evening programming begins. There will be "extra" issues as well, in the middle of the day or night. The newszine will have program updates, party listings, and anything else that seems to be worth printing.

There will be several yellow News Boards positioned throughout the convention. A few will be in each hotel, near the Con Suite, Art Show,Dealers Room,Information, Registration, and so on. On each rack is a space for each issue of the newszine, so if you miss issue #2 you can go back and get it. If you see an empty space on one board, check the others or try back later.

If you have a digital camera and would like to take pictures to be considered for the newszine, please bring it to the convention, along with your driver software and cables if needed. (If you bring your own computer to the convention, just hand us diskettes and captions.) Stop by the News Desk early in the convention, so we can set things up (if necessary) and make sure you're equipped to take notes. If you take a picture of someone, write down their names! We don't intend to print pictures without proper captions. (And if they don't want their picture taken, don't ambush them.)

This section provided as a service to explain our operation to those who might be curious, or are interested in using the best of our ideas at a future convention.

Who are all these people? This is, I believe, the largest crew recruited (before the convention) for a Worldcon daily newsletter. Why do we have a small army assembled? For two reasons: we have ambitious plans, and I want everyone to have enough time to enjoy the convention (including those parts that aren't experienced from inside the newsroom).

Starting at the top, there isn't one single "Editor" who's in charge of the overall operation. There are four or five of us - and for each issue, that issue's editor is the dictator in charge. Whoever's the editor on deck for the next issue to go to print has full authority over the newsroom - for example, they could throw me out, if my presence is a distraction. (In general, staying in the newsroom uninvited could leave you an open target to being snapped at.)

Some of us will produce four or five issues during the convention; some of us might only produce one or two. Overall, I expect us to produce 3 or more issues a day, not counting Monday. (Note that the top of this web page just promises 2 a day. I'd rather delight people by printing more than we promised, which is why the "official" figure is 2 or more a day.)

Some of the issues will be "all-photo" issues - single-sided issues printed on white paper. One editor will concentrate just on that project. (I anticipate we'll get enough photos from volunteer digital photographers that we can be ruthless about throwing out photos that don't have captions identifying the people in them. If you're taking pictures for us please stop by the News Desk to pick up a notebook to write captions in.)

We have a "News Desk" that will operate out in the common areas of the convention. The people working that location (2-person teams, on staggered 2-hour shifts) will take notes, type in material handed in, help people type in their first drafts, and generally handle the data-entry and initial copy-editing part of the operation. They might also rewrite news items to make them sound more interesting or more fun to read. (These folks will include those listed as "Newsletter Desk Writers" and others from the team.)

Our Distribution crew will be headed up by James Briggs. We're going to have a large number of distribution points throughout the convention venue (because it's spread out over so many different floors in different hotels). Distribution will handle (1) the initial distribution of each issue, (2) re-distributing issues if one newsboard runs low on an issue of which another newsboard has extras, and (3) distributing small numbers of each issue to various departments that want this service.

Note that parts 1 and 3 are just gopher errands, on predictable routes although not at completely predictable times. Part 2 is interesting in that the task of redistribution can be broken into three pieces: "eyes, brain, and legs." The "eyes" observe which newsboards are short and which are overstocked, the "brain" decides what action should be taken, and the "legs" carry out that action. The "legs" and "eyes" could be the same people, but they don't have to be the same person who is the "brain."

Anyone can be a field reporter, in the sense that anyone who submits news item is volunteering as a freelancer. We have certain reporters that we will be issuing specific assignments to; we may recruit more during the convention; and we'll be asking each person on the team to try to cover something every day, no matter what their "regular" job is on the newsteam. Worldcon regular attendees will remember the party reports of Kurt Baty and Scott Bobo, and may recall the awards-ceremonies coverage of Robt. Sacks.

Our operation is complicated to the point that we need someone to take care of our internal paperwork and generally keep the newsroom organized. A couple of fan artists have agreed to supply us with art and fillos. We have someone concentrating on uploading our issues to the website as fast as possible, who'll be assisted by the On Site Webmaster. Also next year's Worldcon in Philadelphia will have a newsletter headed up by the same guy who's running the Hugo voting this year, so he'll be interning with us and putting out his own issue (the Hugo extra, natch).

You can see that there are a lot of things going on here. My goal is to limit most of the team to working 2 hours a day, encourage them to volunteer for another department as well and keep a notebook in case they come up with something for us to print.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write me at

Chaz Boston Baden

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