The Saratoga Sun -

From the Hip: Top ten things I learned working at a newspaper


On Thursday I begin my ninth year at the Saratoga Sun. Where did the time go? I would like to share the top ten things I have learned during the past eight years.

Number 10

Don’t assume that people will understand your intentions when writing columns, stories or editorials. Columns are our personal opinions. They do not necessarily represent what the rest of the staff believes.

Editorials are written by the newspaper staff as a whole, sharing a belief that we have as a newspaper. It also has a call to action.

News stories are stories we write with an objective voice. Regardless of our opinion about the subject, we share the facts as they are presented to us.

Number 9

Take lots of photos to get possibly one good one.

Years ago, when newspaper photographers used film, they had to make sure they got the shot right the first time. I have a lot of respect those photographers.

Now with digital photos, we can take a lot of photos and hope we get the perfect photo to share with our readers.

Number 8

Don’t take things too personally. This is one of the hardest things to do in the newspaper business. We try to use criticism to improve.

Number 7

You can never proofread too much. It doesn’t matter how many times the paper is proofread, the most obvious mistakes will show after the paper is printed.

Number 6

Employees don’t stay forever. I think my stint in the army prepared me for people leaving. Newspaper reporters work in small newspapers to get the experience and then move on. It’s a fact of life and I have learned something from every person I have worked with.

Number 5

There is always a story. I used to say, “when things slow down”. I am still waiting for things to slow down.

Number 4

Write so things make sense. Working in the newspaper business I have met interesting people. They all have a fascinating story to tell. The interviewing is the easy part. Putting it into words that will make sense to everyone is the hard part. Something that I have had to learn to do. It is not always easy for me because I get excited and want to tell the whole story.

Number 3

Appreciate your people. I have worked with some pretty amazing people. Every person that I have worked with in this office has taught me something about writing, photography or graphic design. They have brought their unique talent to the Saratoga Sun and made it a better paper.

Number 2

When to write and when not to write. I have learned about the Valley and the people who live in this Valley. They don’t always want to share their stories publicly and I try to understand that. People like their privacy, but I love sharing their stories.

Number 1

Love it or leave it. After eight years, I still wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work. Sure, there are days that I would rather stay home and be a homebody, but then I come to work and someone with a fascinating story walks in the door.

Thanks to all of those who have shared with me over the years!


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