Sunday, November 25, 2007

An "add-at-end" you can't cut

“Add-at-end” used to be a common newsroom term, back when national and international stories moved in “takes” over the wires. For whatever reason, the story had developed further, or additional information had been requested. So that last take, the “add-at-end,” would be sent.

Technology and ever-tighter newsholes have made that an almost archaic phrase. You’re far more likely to see “opt-trim” and “end-opt-trim” throughout a longer story, helping copy editors fit a story into whatever space has been allotted without cutting essential information.

Well, this blog is an “add-at-end” for last week’s blog about "Gallery" that shouldn’t be an optional trim. In today's Sunday Herald, reporter Donna Wright examines how the new face of homeless in Manatee County -– those workers suddenly jobless, in large part, because of the housing industry downturn –- is draining resources available for those in need. Photographer Brian Blanco actually shot the family in "Gallery" while on assignment at Our Daily Bread for Donna’s story. Efrain, Beatriz and their 7-month-old child are one of a growing number of families seeking help for the first time.

"We are going to see more homeless and more children in the street as foreclosures increase,” Maj. Robert Pfeiffer, the Salvation Army's director of social services, told Donna. "We are reaching a critical melting point in the social structure in this country. Social-service agencies that provide assistance are being inundated."

Another nostalgic symbol from newsrooms of old is “-30-", the tag that was used to signify a story's end. Well, before you end this one, here’s the invaluable add-at-end for Donna’s report:

To help, call (all are 941 area codes):
• Project Heart, Manatee County school district: 708-4971, ext. 222
• Salvation Army of Bradenton: 748-5110
• United Way 211 of Manasota: Dial 211 for social-services referral or 308-4357 for information
• Community Coalition on Homelessness: 747-1509
• Manatee Community Action Agency: 827-0188
• Our Daily Bread: 746-4088 during business hours or 745-2992
• Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness: 955-8987


Here's a link to Donna Wright's story:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am certainly willing to help homeless people that are willing to help themselves. I'm also willing to give temporary help to someone newly homeless. But it is my sincere feeling that the homeless numbers are over exaggerated in Manatee County. Just 2 years ago, your paper was counting over 7,000 as homeless. How about your reporter doing a report on where these govt agencies get their numbers, or are they just numbers someone pulled out of thin air. We really need answers here.