So… today was my first day as a Staff Writer for the Henderson Daily. If first impressions are to be trusted, this job is a controlled chaos.
My primary area of coverage is going to be county and city government, which includes all branches of law enforcement and municipal services, as well as Kiwanis and Rotary Club events, and anything pertaining to my hometown of Overton.
I have been issued a well-worn Canon EOS “Rebel” camera to use, with the understanding that I will be providing photos (with accompanying cutlines) on a daily basis. I am reminded of a journalistic mantra a sportswriter friend once told me: “If there ain’t pictures of it, it didn’t happen!”
Right now… I need to just listen and learn. There is a ton of information to digest and a certain rhythm to follow.
Granted, the pace is frenetic and intense, but an ethic of craftsmanship and professionalism permeates the offices here. The staff are all quite friendly and engaging, while also serious about their responsibilities. The editor seems to possess the right balance of hardness and softness to his personality to lead well, without cloying or browbeating his staff. The publisher too seems laid-back and amiable, but I sense a steely resolve behind his friendly handshake.
It is only my first day, but I feel that I could work here for a long time and be perfectly content. The rigors of this position would have been considered a “perk” at former occupations I have held. Essentially… I am being paid to be curious, to investigate issues concerning my community, to talk to people making decisions concerning the aforementioned, and to report to my fellows citizens through the medium of writing. Not to mention being able to capture images for the posterity of the public record.
Not bad work, if you can get it… sure beats working for a living.