Friday, September 23, 2005

Why Am I Here?

Why did I do it? Why did I leave a big newspaper in a big city for a small newspaper in a small city?

It didn't have to do with the folks at the Tampa Tribune, I'll tell you that. My experience there was great, and I enjoyed working with my fellow copy editors.

I wanted a change of scenery. I wanted to live in a place that had seasons. My partner and I had never planned to make the rest of our lives in Florida (we were brought there by an internship), and we both decided that New England seemed like a nice place to settle down.

Then a position came open at a well-respected community paper. I interviewed and was impressed by the paper and the dedication of the people who worked there. After some thought, the deal was done.

We left Florida toward the end of April, and I started at the Monitor a few days later.

My job has changed. In Tampa, I dealt almost exclusively with text. It had most often been read a couple of times before it crossed my computer screen. It would be read a time or two more before the page was sent off to the presses.

In Concord, I also design the pages, work with reporters as a line editor, and crop and tone photos. I've taken up book reviewing as well.

I like this. I knew it would be this way, and I welcomed the opportunity to do many more things. I spend more time at work, true. I bear more responsibility, true. I take on more stress, true. But I think it all serves to make me a more rounded journalist and copy editor.

It all serves the writing. The copy remains at the core. Without clear, sharply written stories, none of rest of the newsroom paraphernalia would function. The principles of good editing and good journalism have been brought home time and again on this more intimate scale.

Copy Massage will reflect these changes. My perspective has broadened. And I wouldn't have it any other way.