March 8, 2009

New editor helps complete the team

I could say more, and no doubt will, but this little piece of a column written a few years ago by our new executive editor, James H. Smith, tells me enough to know that he gets it:

If you don't like a certain story [in the newspaper], turn the page. I guarantee you will find something you like. It is sort of like listening to the radio. If a song comes on you don't like, change the station. Every day a newspaper prints things that are upsetting to someone. And every day a newspaper prints things that are satisfying, even uplifting to someone.

Life on this planet is troubling, exciting, uplifting, sad, happy, horrifying, beautiful. If a newspaper is supposed to reflect life and if you are reading a newspaper that does not portray horror, beauty, happiness, sadness, excitement or trouble - if it doesn't uplift you and make you laugh or make you cry - what kind of newspaper is that? It is an irrelevancy at your doorstep every morning. It is not worth your time. It is bland and blank and missing the parade of life as it goes by.

I hear good things about this man from those who know him. They say he's a solid journalist, a kind boss and an editor with a passion to get the story and to get it right. They say he's not afraid to take on the powerful and humble enough to listen to the smallest voices.
It's hard to get the whole parade of life in Bristol with a grand total of two city reporters, but, hey, it's a good goal. If we can keep improving The Bristol Press every day, we'll find the readers and advertisers that will let our staff grow again so that we can capture a bit more of that parade.
We caught a big break back in January when Mike Schroeder came along to buy the paper. And now, two months later, it seems we've hit the jackpot again. What that really means, of course, is that Bristol's been damn lucky. If the day ever comes when people can't just turn the page to find another story --- if there is no page to turn, no link to click, no newsfeed to check -- then the parade of life that has flowed through this town for more than two centuries will simply fade away.
So don't think for a second that Mike Schroeder and Jim Smith don't matter. Their success is vital to all of us, all over town. After all, we're not going to get an endless stream of second chances.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're sucking up, Steve. We know it.

Anonymous said...

Best Journalist in Connecticut. You Are Lucky. (For what it is worth, he is lucky to have you also.)

George Gombossy said...

As someone who has worked with Jim Smith for many years and has known him for a looooooooooong time. The Press and its readers is getting one outstanding editor.
George Gombossy