Column: Taking the reins for a little while |

Column: Taking the reins for a little while

Hello, from the new editor here at the Sky-Hi News. I expect this will only be for a little while, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

As you can read in Tracy Ross’s editor’s letter, Sky-Hi is looking for a new editor-in-chief that can come and put down roots in Grand County with the goal of staying here for a long while. To help while that search unfolds, I have stepped in with the hope of continuing to produce a good paper, keep the community up-to-date on news and help our awesome reporters, Kyle McCabe and Meg Soyars, do their jobs — while working at both the Sky-Hi and the Summit Daily News, where I will eventually return to full-time duty.

I tend to get introspective anytime I prepare to take what I consider to be a bold new step. It’s a bad habit of mine, but it occasionally yields interesting results. I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment while I share a bit about myself.

In 2005, I got my first subcutaneous injection of newsprint when I started working for my college paper basically on a whim. It stuck. At one time I dreamed of working at the copy desk at the Rocky Mountain News, but after the Rocky closed shop I vacillated and shifted my academic focus, working for college papers all the while. As one college advisor told me: news ink was in my veins.

Five years ago I was teaching elementary school and feeling utterly miserable. I started applying to a lot of jobs, including as a page layout designer for one of the papers in my area. They called me back and offered me a fairly pitiable hourly pay rate, even compared to my teacher’s salary.

I dithered, but ultimately my wife pushed me over the edge as she said “You’re a newspaper person. Go take the job.”

With her encouragement I decided to leave one “well-paid, highly respected field” for another and took the job. Eventually I got a pay raise and then found a new job over at the Summit Daily News, where I’ve worked for the last three years. Along the way I picked up two kids and began working remotely out of state. I also began pitching in to help Tracy edit Sky-Hi, which I’ve been doing since April.

Amid the long hours, hectic deadline crunches and hard work, I continue to absolutely love my job. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, but my wife was right: I’m a newspaper person. Try as I might, I can’t quite get the ink out of my veins.

As I’ve helped with Sky-Hi, I’ve come to appreciate just how much this newspaper has to offer the community and deepened my own love of community journalism. So, when the opportunity came for me to step up and help a little more for a little while, I absolutely jumped on it, even if it means juggling between duties for two papers.

Honestly, if the same chance had come 18 months ago, I might be living in Grand County right now and angling to ditch the Summit Daily and make this a permanent gig. Alas, after surviving our fourth move in three years last year, my wife and I have set ourselves on never moving again, so the Summit Daily will eventually be stuck with me on a full-time basis again.

My goal while I’m here is to help our reporters continue to tell amazing stories that are important to the community and make sure that nothing is on fire at the office when the new person takes over. I appreciate constructive criticism and love news tips, so feel free to send me an email or give me a call. Also, if you think you can do better than me, please send us your resume, we’re still looking for a new long-term editor.

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