A newsroom of one

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Normally, Tuesday is a busy day for the Gaming Today staff. We meet up at our Post Road office in Southwest Las Vegas, put out a newspaper, then post everything up on our website.

These days of course, the word “normal” has taken on a far different meaning.

We still put out GT Tuesday. But for the first time, we did it from our homes rather than from the office. Instead of gathering together, communicating face to face, perhaps sharing lunch along with ideas on what photos work best or where we should place an ad, we text, we email, we call each other.

We are a series of newsrooms of one.

We have all worked from home at one time or another. Sometimes we’re under the weather. Other times we have things that come up in our lives that require our immediate attention and we multi-task from our kitchen or home office. And once in a while we just don’t feel like coming in and we opt to telecommute.

Last Friday, when Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak told people who were in non-essential jobs to stay home, we got the message. We gathered up our things, grabbed our files and other necessary work items and said goodbye to Post Road.

Fortunately, we have the resources to do our job thanks to Jim Defreitas, our IT specialist, who gave us the capacity to remote in and put out the paper.

And that’s what we’ve been doing. Every day, we keep our website fresh and current. We are producing stories generated by the staff, including this piece you are reading, providing unique content you won’t find anywhere else.

As for the digital edition, as our owner Bill Paulos and general manager and executive editor Howard Barish said to you a week ago in their open letter, it looks the same and reads the same as the print version of GT that you’ve been accustomed to having in your hands. The one upside? You don’t have to worry about the ink smudging your hands, thus giving you one less reason to wash them.

But I know many of you miss having that print edition to hold. It’s part of your routine. I know because I see you reading it in the race and sportsbooks around town. I see you perusing it at certain restaurants. A couple of you even swing by the office every Wednesday to grab a copy. To be honest, I miss the print edition too. I enjoy holding it, leafing through the pages, seeing what our handiwork from the day before results in.

Occasionally, we screw up. We let a typographical error, a misspelled name or a wrong fact slip through. And my co-workers know when that happens, I’m a very unhappy person, because the buck stops with me. I’m the one whose job is to catch the mistakes before they see print.

Sometimes, I express my anger with myself to where everyone hears me. It’s not a good thing to do and I’m working on keeping my temper in check. But one of the positives of working from home and living alone is that if things are not going well and I get frustrated, I can drop an F-bomb or three and no one is going to know about it.

Fortunately, those instances are less frequent these days. Mr. Paulos has provided outstanding leadership through the crisis. Howard is pitching in with all facets of the operation. He’s actually a heck of an editor.

Our production staff — Loris Lewis, Amelia Stets, Hunter Lewis and Cindy Cariaga — have done an amazing job in adjusting to life during the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the entire world. You don’t know them because they don’t get a byline or their picture in the paper the way our writers and columnists do. But trust me, without them, there is no Gaming Today.

Our advertising manager, Gabrielle Reisler, has managed to salvage enough ads to keep us going as all the casinos across the country have shut down. She has the toughest job of all, trying to get businesses that may be closed temporarily to stick with us during these trying times or try to procure new business from establishments which remain open and are trying to hang on.

And we’re not alone. Newspapers everywhere are operating remotely as reporters, photojournalists and editors work from home. They too, are now newsrooms of one. They are also trying to keep their advertisers.

Rest assured, we remain dedicated to keeping you informed and entertained. We look forward to when we can talk about betting strategies for baseball, who we pick in a basketball or hockey game and what every week in the NFL and college football will look like. 

Hopefully, that time is coming sooner than later. Until then, we value your continued patronage and we hope you enjoy this week’s free digital issue. 

Please stay safe and look out for each other. Better days are coming.

About the Author

Steve Carp

Steve Carp is a six-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year. A 30-year veteran of the Las Vegas sports journalism scene, he covered the Vegas Golden Knights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 2015-2018.

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