Six years went by in a blink. But the countless late nights, public hearings, press conferences, crime scenes, phone interviews; you name it, to some it may have been a burden. Most feel happy hour needed more attention.
But the near 72 months I spent toiling my coverage areas truly felt privileged. Some may say that sounds crazy, but I could’ve been working outside of my field with a sullen start out of college if Anton hadn’t come calling. And I thank my publisher, Angela, for putting faith in me to do my job well.
But it’s time to say goodbye. This is my last week as an editor for Anton Media Group, where I’ve run at least six of their publications, my two main papers being the Mineola American and New Hyde Park Illustrated News.
As I prepare to leave Anton, it’s a Thursday in Mineola at our main office. A cold, brisk breeze washed over me as I head to Biscuits and Barbecue for a cup of coffee down the block. I will surely miss these vibrant communities I’ve covered over the years. They were never short of interesting.
I want to thank my sources who took time out of their day to talk to me, both on and off the record. You were at the ready to comment on both the positive and the negative.
You were, at times, in tough spots, but never refused my call or step-aside-chat. You understood that I’d be there when you’re getting commended but also if something went wrong.
To my editorial team. You were the reason stories were clean, why awards were won and friendships made. At times it was tough, especially on production day. Recognizing Betsy, Christy, Dave, Elizabeth, Frank, Jen, Jill, Kim, Maura, Sheri, Steve and Wendy…you are my first friendship-worthy newsroom and I will cherish each of my experiences with you.
To the design team, you were always ready to listen and help with the process that is making a top quality local newspaper. For my lead designer, Donna, thank you for making production day seamless with your speed and understanding when returned phonecalls awaited me, photos to be received and headlines to be formatted.
In this area of journalism, one must appreciate the little things. You may never get a Watergate (although I’ve come close) but you’ll surely inform a community that wants to know what’s going on where they live.
That’s what makes community news special. We may not get the President on the phone, but we’ll tell you when your street will be paved, when businesses open (and sadly close), what the school and village budget is, when your street fair or school event is and how your local sports teams are doing.
This could go on forever.
While I’ve covered my fair share of big ticket news from the NFL, presidential debates and high-profile criminal court cases, the satisfaction paled in comparison to the phone-call from a parent excited their child was featured in the paper for a school initiative or a local war veteran being recognized for their contributions to secure our freedom.
A loving note from a mom excited about her two son’s football accomplishments and even a shout out from the mother of an Academy Award-winner saying her son was featured in some of the top publications across the globe, but she felt my take on her son’s achievement said it best.
I want to thank the readers over the years who’ve called to commend our work and even the ones who rang to detract it. It means people care. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t call.
The time to move on always proves difficult, but a new adventure awaits. I say to the readers and the writers that serve them: keep caring.