Editor column: Who are you?
If forced to point to one word that describes this job the choice would be “questions.”
It might seem obvious that much of my time is spent asking questions. What might be less obvious is many times those questions can be considered “dumb” or “ignorant.” Sometimes you just have to come out and ask: “What are you talking about?”
The other side of the question equation is people frequently ask me them.
How do I place an ad? How do I sign up for a subscription? Who do I call about X, Y or Z happening in town? Do you know what is moving into this space downtown? How long will it take me to get to Denver? Why does my mail keep disappearing? Is it going to rain?
And so on.
Some of those are hyperbole, but you’d be surprised (I’m not the only one capable of asking “dumb” questions).
Others are genuine inquiries related to the paper (like placing an ad), and although I cannot help directly because I wouldn’t even know where to start, I’m happy to find the right person to handle the matter.
And others end up being inadvertent story tips, which are always welcomed.
In any case, I try to be neither rude nor belittling. There is one question, though, that constantly puzzles me and it goes something like: “Do you work for/with the Post Independent?”
It’s a fact that I’ve always assumed the vast majority of locals know. But for whatever reason, and I’ve come up with many, it’s one of the most frequent questions I get.
The CT is part of Colorado Mountain News Media, which includes the PI and papers in neighboring communities such as Aspen, Vail, Summit County and more. CMNM, as it’s called, is a property of Swift Communications, which earlier this summer acquired papers in Steamboat Springs and Craig.
Along with my role as editor of The CT, I’m also the western Garfield County reporter for the PI — meaning my stories on our communities west of Glenwood frequently appear in the PI, which serves many, many readers beyond the boundaries of Glenwood Springs.
From the standpoint as editor of The CT, this is beneficial for several reasons. The obvious one being that it allows news from our communities to reach more people, and it provides me with access to my colleagues’ great work that pertains to our readers.
The second reason, and more personal one, is the working relationship I have with the team in Glenwood.
Sometimes you need a co-worker to bounce an idea off of. And better yet, sometimes you can ask him or her one of those “stupid” questions. There’s also a sense of comfort knowing you work with talented and dedicated people.
If you take anything away from this, it should be that last sentence, because it’s the one I’m reminded of day after day.
Now, keep those questions coming.
Ryan Hoffman is the editor of The Citizen Telegram. You can reach him at 970-685-2103 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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