Just a small town, country newspaper editor

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I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

I work for a weekly paper in a rural community. Each day I write stories, take pictures, and edit copy written by my staff or submitted from the public.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

I report on city and county governments. I do some sports coverage. I can often be found at community events, ground breakings, ribbon cuttings, parades, fairs, school functions, chamber of commerce events, and the like.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

Sometimes I stare at blank pages to fill or ponder how to write something meaningful and significant from dull, dry meetings. Other times I try to craft a way to fit everything into the next edition or I’m trying to figure out what to leave out of a story because I have an overabundance of information.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

Ink got in my blood in 1981 when my high school typing teacher encouraged me to join the student newspaper. It was creative and fun, so I majored in journalism in college. I rose through the ranks on the student newspaper from photo editor to associate editor to editor.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

I started my professional career at a weekly paper in Minnesota. I moved on to a small daily in North Carolina and then to a bigger daily in my hometown of Longmont, Colo. From there I went to a much larger daily paper in Amarillo before downsizing to a small daily in Hereford, then to various weeklies in the Houston area.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

Then came the call in 2014 to join The Sealy News. I started as a reporter but became the editor within a few months. It was a lot of hard work, long hours and low pay, but I was still in the game doing what I love.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

Two years later came an opportunity of a lifetime. I was hired by a former boss as the editor of the weekly Fort Bend Star. It was closer to home, more money, and afforded me great opportunities to cover pro sports, NASA, and many growing and thriving communities. Feature stories abounded and I loved what I was doing. The people seemed to love me too. Last year, however, I was lured back to Sealy. Things changed a lot and for the better.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

It’s no coincidence that at the same time I downsized newspapers that the industry as a whole was downsizing. The internet was taking off and taking ad revenue with it. With print costs rising and revenue dropping, cuts were being made. Fewer jobs and lower pay are part and parcel with newspapers today.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

People have been saying for years that print is dead, yet here we are. We’re leaner, adaptive to change, and even more relevant than ever before in a world of “fake news” and “mainstream media” scandals that are killing the trust people have with journalists. We still report on city hall, local happenings, local sports, and all the other things the people have been depending on newspaper for since the days of old.

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

The pain of being the baby in the bathwater that everyone wants to throw out because President Trump and Facebook wants them too is unbearable. When friends on social media cry “don’t trust the media” and “defund the media” I don’t think they fully understand the implications of what they are saying. Ours is an industry on a shoestring budget getting along by a thread. Do they really want to live in a country without a free press? Do they really want me and my colleagues to be without jobs and careers?

I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

All that we ask is that if you appreciate what we do for you and our community that you continue to support us. Please subscribe to the paper and do business with our advertisers. These are times when we call need to come together and build one another up. We’re in this fight together and together we can get through it.

But what do I know? I’m just a small town, country newspaper editor.

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