Frontier Former Editor

January 11, 2009

Nothing like conflicting emotions.

Filed under: journalism, newspapers, observations, old times — Tags: , — Frontier Former Editor @ 6:24 pm

The first newspaper managing editor I ever worked for died last Friday (01-09-09). After two years in his newsroom, I found myself with little respect for him as a manager or a journalist. I can’t speak for him as a family man, but I do remember several incidents concerning him that still leave a bad taste in my mouth 17 years later.

One that still galls me is when I covered the Southmountain Mine underground explosion in 1992.

After two days of waiting in barely above-zero weather to see if men had died, and of watching certain people parade around for publicity, I returned to Bluefield. The managing editor had saved a copy of an Associated Press wire photo from  the site where I was in the background. He dressed me down because I wasn’t wearing a tie.

That was one of the minor episodes.

The man, in my estimation, worried more about making his community look good (and, by extension, making himself look good to the community) than doing good for the community. I know of one example where he suppressed a story because it would have exposed a family member to public questions of why that family member might have, at best, ignored a criminal financial transaction.

The reporter writing his obituary (not the link above) was also a personal acquaintance from the period. His effort lived down to my expectations of him. Perhaps he’s expecting either that the man will be coming back from the dead, or that he’ll get the job.

I’m sorry for the man’s family.

I can say that he did inspire me by his example . . . to avoid following his example at all costs.

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1 Comment »

  1. Buon Giorno, Signor FFE

    A fresh Grave-Side is perhaps a good place to leave animosities behind

    …… as Trinity observed so attractively to Neo :

    It’s the questions that drive us

    * Were you waiting to see if men had “died” … or was it “lived”

    * What are the merits or de-merits of making a Community “look good”

    I’m sorry that this young man has died … or at least, he was young once, with the ideals and hopes of youth

    *

    Comment by G Eagle Esq — January 17, 2009 @ 3:44 pm


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