Grand County, here’s hoping for a smooth transition at your newspaper
August 4, 2009
If you’ve ever shown up on a job site only to realize that some of the hardest work you were prepared to do has already been done, you have some idea of what I’m feeling today.
In October 2007, a group of individuals launched the Sky-Hi Daily News with the highest of hopes and expectations. Now, almost two years later, what remains of that team will carry on the great work we began during those heady days as we launched the nation’s newest daily newspaper.
The person responsible for assembling that team, Autumn Phillips, is moving on to greener – well, certainly warmer – pastures. We are indebted to her and appreciative that she blazed such a clear trail for us to follow.
That goes doubly so for me. I am profoundly grateful for the heavy lifting she did as the communities of Grand County struggled to adapt to the new reality of a daily newspaper in their midst.
These two years constitute a memorable chapter in my career, and I will always count my blessings that I had the good fortune to work with Autumn.
As the new editor of the Sky-Hi Daily News and skyhidailynews.com, I will consider myself fortunate indeed if I am able to maintain the same level of excellence and continue to lead the mission we began into what has become an uncertain media future.
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Readers of both the newspaper and the Web site are likely to notice few changes during this transition. Although some of you do not know me, I have been an integral part of the Sky-Hi Daily News since its inception, albeit in a role that was often largely behind the scenes.
As such, I am no stranger to the components that make the paper and Web sites what readers and viewers enjoy today. Nor am I a stranger to Grand County.
Someone suggested to me that if the county were a congressional district, its boundaries would have to be redrawn because it does not conform to the definition of a “community of interest.” It is my fervent hope that this newspaper can serve to disabuse people of that notion and to mold for the better whatever realities may underlie it.
I don’t expect that to be easy or to happen quickly.
I recently read that taking a job as a newspaper editor these days is akin to opening a Pontiac dealership. I couldn’t disagree more.
What other institution constitutes a community gathering place where all are welcome? What other institution provides a ready forum to explore a community’s future? What other institution gives communities in all their grand diversity such an outlet for self-expression?
The answer is simple: none. And therein lies the foundation of my faith that newspapers and their Web sites will continue to be the pre-eminent sources of information in the communities they serve, regardless of how political boundaries are drawn or the Internet fragments the dissemination of news.
While I will guide this effort as an editor, the most important players carrying us into the future will be you, the readers and consumers of our products. I hope to get many more of you involved in this endeavor in the coming months as we work together to maintain the vitality of Grand County and its best source for news and information.
As for who I am, here’s a quick take: When I’m not in the office or at a meeting, you’re likely to find me in a canoe or standing in a river flailing to and fro with a graphite pole. You might see me hiking a trail or scrambling along a mountain ridge. I could be cross country skiing or floating Lower Gore Canyon.
Wherever I am, chances are good it will be outside.
And there’s one more thing you can count on.
A few years ago as my wife and I prepared to launch our cataraft on a popular Idaho river, among the throng of brightly colored rafts and kayaks queued up to venture into the pounding waves was an energetic paddler in a canoe.
As we struck up a conversation with him and discussed the big water confronting us that day and the challenges he was about to encounter, he said something that has stuck with me: “Open boat, open mind.”
Sure enough, he “swam” several times that day as the large rapids overwhelmed his little boat. But despite his travails – or maybe because of them – his grin at the takeout was among the broadest to be found.
My newspaper adaptation of his outlook is this: open door, open mind. My door will always be open, and I will always try to keep an open mind.
– Drew can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 970-887-3334 ext. 19600
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