We're making a newspaper for Greenbelt

We hadn’t expected to get to do this. Arriving on site we didn’t know we’d have funding, but the call came in late on Thursday and the planning began.

Matt–given his background in typography and design for print–handled negotiations with the printers. A deadline of 7pm on Sunday was set, if we met it we’d be the first thing on the press that night and should be able to have the paper on site that night.

In an early meeting we decided that items on twittter tagged #gb09 would be key content and so began one of my weekend tasks of reviewing all the posts and marking as “favourites” any that seemed appropriate to include. Meanwhile Matt fired up InDesign on the iMac in our office and started designing a grid and photo layouts so we could quickly drop content into place.

Post-it notes were acquired and our wall soon filled with ideas of people who might contribute, whether through their own blog or the festival blog, and of other content we could source. Our crack team of official photographers could be counted on and we made sure they were briefed on our plans.

I’ve been glad of my backup iPhone battery as I’ve spent the weekend running round site to talk to potential contributors while tracking twitter traffic. It’s no easy task persuading a group of busy Greenbelters to do some writing while on site, however willing they may be there’s no telling when a key phone call will destroy any chance of their having a moment to spare.

Sunday morning was when it started to get really serious. Moving all those post-its (and the ideas that had never quite made it onto paper) onto a mock layout up on the wall of our grandstand box, we could finally see the paper taking shape. Art for ads was acquired, pieces were emailed, and a roving trip around site with a laptop secured a little more content.

As I write, there are 70 minutes remaining before this thing has to hit the press. It’s looking manageable, but tight. If you see this in print, chances are we’ll be feeling very relieved.

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