Elisabeth Goodridge and Karen Barrow are two Times journalists now assigned to that coverage. Here’s a taste of their approach, edited from their discussion with Times Insider.
Where have you found support?
ELISABETH Service journalism is coming from every single corner of the newsroom. It’s coming from Business, from Metro, from Parenting, from Health. It’s pretty much the entire newsroom.
How does this differ from what you normally do?
ELISABETH I am usually the deputy travel editor. What I have been doing is figuring out what service stories are needed now. There are three ways I’m approaching it. First, what kind of stories are we hearing from our reporting? Second, what reader questions are coming in? Third, we’re reviewing what people are searching for on Google. Then, actually, fourth is whatever comes out of Karen’s mind.
KAREN My logic, having been an editor for Smarter Living for a couple of years, is that if I’m wondering about it, a lot of other people probably are.
What does an average day look like for you?
KAREN We both have kids, so we’re balancing that. They’re all home. I find myself constantly checking Slack and email and furiously working during windows when they’re busy with other things.
ELISABETH I have been waking up early to get as much work done as I can before my son is awake. We have a lot of meetings. There’s just so much news. In the afternoon, I’m doing a lot of editing. We’re taking ideas from our own lives because we know that other people are having these issues, too.
How do you decompress?
ELISABETH You have to walk around. Drink water.
I think everyone needs to be really disciplined, and I need to start taking my own advice on making sure that we know this is a marathon, not a sprint. And additionally, being good to my mental health, being good to all my co-workers and everyone I know.
KAREN I have a dog who I’ve never loved more because he gets me out of the house twice a day.
That’s it for this briefing. Take care, and see you next time.
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. The Back Story is based on reporting by Danya Issawi. You can reach the team at [email protected].
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