Thank you, Morton
I always knew this day would eventually come — just never knew when.
But, alas, I write my final piece for the Morton Times-News. For more than four years I held this position with great pride.
For four years I presided over the editorial portion of one of Morton’s long-lasting publications. I was one of a number of editors dating back to 1888 that have long put their passion on paper. After more than 200 issues and nearly 1,000 stories (even as a writer, I cringe at that thought), I am putting down the pen.
I promised myself when I first began — the Friday of the 40th annual Pumpkin Festival — that I would put everything I could into what I consider my passion. I came into this job expecting to be a writer and photographer. But, it became so much more every time I shook someone’s hand or attended an event. When I entered Morton, I could probably only name five people I knew lived here. Today, I can honestly say I remember hundreds of names and faces — many will never be forgotten.
Enough said. If there was anything I learned as an editor, it is the simple realization that even though I had the power of pen, my opinion was no more important than the next Mortonite. Mine was just one of thousands in Morton. I learned that readers do not exactly care who I am, rather what I was capable of communicating.
Instead of reflecting on memories, I want to tell the story of the life of a newspaper editor.
Anyone who enjoys people would absolutely fall in love with a job like this. The editor of a small-town newspaper is more than just a person sitting at a desk, assigning stories and typing on a keyboard. It is much more than news awareness, writing and pagination. Being an editor involves a knowledge of the community that spans beyond paper. It is not possible to do this job without getting off your butt and interacting with the community.
Editors enjoy a life of unexpectedness. Editors always think one week in advance. Editors are always on call. Editors sacrifice nights and weekends to get a good story or snap a great photo.
This job involves knowing names and knowing places. One without the other is insufficient. And, without establishing one self as a consistent presence in the community, an editor will fail miserably.
To do this job, it takes an open mind, an informed perspective and an insatiable desire for more information.
But, even then, an editor will still make mistakes. Even with the qualifications listed above, an editor will experience failures.
The real success lays in an editor’s ability to remain loyal to the community for which they report. A thick skin and a good sense of humor will go a long way.
Having the opportunity to run the editorial side of Morton’s newspaper is and always will remain one of my greatest memories. It was an absolute honor to be a part of this newspaper.
It was an honor to …
… meet so many great people.
… spark discussions.
… help residents.
… become part of what I consider one the greatest towns in the United States.
This was my first professional endeavor outside of college and I grew professionally and socially. I consider myself very lucky to have had this opportunity so early in my career.
My hope is that, even though we were not always in agreement, I was able to fulfill the responsibilities of a news editor for Morton. This community is not only incredible, but very interesting — I hope that was well reflected in the Morton Times-News.
Consider this my ‘Thank You’ note to the community of Morton for giving me one of the greatest opportunities of my life. Keep in touch by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.