In the world of journalism there is no term with more import than “deadline”.
When people saunter across the office for a chat it means they have filed their copy.
If they are met with a quick stressed out glance then they usually know that their colleague is “up against it” and needs to be left in peace.
In the hour before a paper “goes to bed” is really really crazy.
The bottom line is that those printing presses must roll at a given time.
In the broadcast world the feed goes live and you’re on air.
Today there is another deadline in the Rangers saga.
I would doff my cap to any journalist or interested observer who could take me through a time line of the dates when Duff & Phelps have said that “this is the day!”
At this stage I’ve lost count.
If there is a deadline set for offers and, say, someone comes in with an offer two hours after will that bid be refused?
Many NUJ colleagues have cheerfully confessed to me over the years that they wouldn’t do a thing without a deadline.
The trade seems to attract people prone to procrastination.
A joke within journalism is the one about writing a novel.
Two journalists meet in a bar (I know this sounds farfetched, but it is based on a true story) and one says:
“I’m writing a novel.”
The other hack replies “neither am I!”
Novels, unlike newspaper articles, aren’t written to deadline.
Don’t expect the guys at Duff & Phelps to start behaving like editors.
What started as a tight news bulletin has grown into a sprawling Russian novel with no end in sight.
Reality will intrude at some point, but not because Duff & Phelps say that a deadline has been reached.
The outside world will call a halt to this pantomime, but not today.
I gave myself a deadline of midday for this post.