Monday, February 12, 2007

If you haven't heard, Thon's this weekend

For some reason, newsrooms are havens for procrastinators.

I think it has to do with journalists’ addiction to pressure, deadlines and intensity.

Long-term planning? Boo. Detail? Ick. Anything less than 15 things to do at one time? Boring.

We thrive under pressure – kinda like athletes, without the cardio training and ability to stay away from junk food.

But every once in a while, usually against our will, we’re forced to think more than one day ahead of time.

At The Daily Collegian there’s a few newsworthy events that we can count on every year. Football games, state appropriations hearings in Harrisburg, Board of Trustees meetings…you get the idea.

And then there’s Thon.

No event at Penn State or in State College requires more planning on the part of the Collegian’s news staff than the largest student-run philanthropy in the nation.

To begin with, Thon has traditionally been a 48-hour marathon of anything and everything Penn State students can come up with to occupy themselves and the Four Diamonds families for that amount of time.

Any minute the Collegian isn’t there, we could be missing something our readers would be interested knowing about.

So part of our coverage of Thon – which begins this Friday and runs through Sunday – is to make sure we have at least one reporter and usually one photographer somewhere on the premises for the entire event.

Reporters and photographers take shifts just like the morale committee does. Each shift is responsible for finding a story and reporting it.

It’s an awesome responsibility and one that we don’t take lightly.

That’s why planning for this year’s Thon coverage began weeks ago.

(By the way, there’s a reason why there aren't any members of the Collegian’s News Division dancing in Thon for this organization. It’s called a conflict of interest.)

Thon’s different than most big news events the Collegian covers in that it affects almost everyone at this school.

Only football and tuition issues really compare.

It’s the talk of the town when it’s Thon weekend – and Collegian reporters and photographers will be doing their best this year, as in years past, to let you know what you missed when you were sleeping at 3 a.m.