“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
This quote came to mind as my life journey took another turn, but unlike Michael Corleone in Godfather III, nobody is pulling me on my new path.
I wholeheartedly embrace the wonderful opportunity given to me by Village Media as the new editor at SooToday.
You may recognize my name from freelance stories that I have been writing for SooToday. You may have met me at Home Depot where I’ve been loading vehicles and keeping the parking lot tidy for a little over a year.
Prior to that, I was editor at The Sault Star for more than 10 years before being laid off.
That was tough.
I’ve been an editor and journalist for more than 30 years across Ontario.
After graduating from Ottawa’s Carleton University in 1987, I worked at The Nipigon-Red Rock Gazette, Northern Ontario Business, Northern Daily News in Kirkland Lake, Sudbury Star, Sarnia Observer, Kingston Whig-Standard and Owen Sound Sun Times, before coming to The Sault Star.
It’s been said that a job is not what you do for a living, it’s what you do with your living and my job was a huge part of my life.
To use a pre-digital cliché, newspaper ink flowed in my veins.
On the day I left the editor’s desk, memories of places, stories and people I met in my career ran through my mind.
In this business, the chance to make a difference in big and small ways presents itself every day. It was hard to leave this behind.
Though I did some freelancing, it wasn’t the same as leading a news team on its mission to make communities better by telling their stories.
As a journalist I wish all my colleagues, regardless of where they work, the best.
The work we do is so important and in recent years our business faced seismic changes that have gutted newsrooms around the world.
In the midst of this rubble, Village Media and SooToday grew and staked its future on local news – a concept considered quaint or dead in some circles.
Village Media’s impact in Sault Ste. Marie is undeniable. Countless conversations in the city begin with the phrase: “I read on SooToday that . . . ”
It’s the type of engagement that breathes life into a community. Local news celebrates success and challenges us to do better. Local news unites, inspires, informs and entertains.
Village Media sites have grown in communities such as Guelph and Orillia which have lost their daily newspapers. The local company’s success and vision has been recognized nationally, globally and most importantly, locally in an ever-growing number of communities.
It’s a good feeling to know there is a future for this type of journalism.
On its website Village Media says it’s “dedicated to making community news sustainable in markets of all sizes.”
It’s a lofty and important goal. I’m honoured to have been tapped for this mission.
I’ll need your help.
To be successful community feedback and ideas are essential.
Let the fun begin.
Reach me at: email@example.com