It has only taken me a week to see just how hardworking everyone at Tompkins Weekly is and how well Jamie Swinnerton has done as managing editor in her 18-month tenure. I no doubt have big shoes to fill, but I am up for the challenge. Here is a little more about me, your new managing editor.
For the greater part of my life, I grew up in Groton with my grandmother, who continues to live there.My father worked in Ithaca for as long as I can remember and was in love with its seemingly countless nature parks. Though school brought me away from the county and eventually landed me in Syracuse, Tompkins County always had a special place in my heart as a truly unique and inspiring part of New York state. When I saw the opportunity to take on the role of managing editor at a free, local paper in my home county, I knew it was my chance to go back home and be a part of something great.
I have been involved in journalism since junior high, working my way through every high school and college newspaper I could and learning more about the craft every step of the way. After being encouraged by professionals in the field and professors at my university, I pursued journalism as a profession.
I have always admired the profession for its powerful storytelling and the way it can connect communities. It is about challenging those in power, yes, but it is also about telling people’s stories so that everyone comes a little closer to understanding one another. I have always held that everyone has a story to tell, and it has been my mission for several years now to find those stories and tell them well.
Journalism is changing. Around the country, local newspapers are struggling as many readers turn to big papers or become disillusioned with journalism altogether. But this is a strong, engaged, local community unlike any I have seen before. You, dear readers, care about your paper, your community, and your people. So, as Jamie has said, I encourage you all to keep it up, to continue speaking up, supporting your local paper, and getting involved in the journalistic process. I am open to story ideas and welcome criticism; I firmly believe it is part of making journalism better for all involved.
In all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed me back to Tompkins County so far and for proving to me once again how great it is to live here. I am glad to return to a place so dear to my heart and to serve this community in such a powerful capacity. It is good to be back, and I look forward to working with you.
Story ideas, press releases, and photos can be sent to Jessica at JessicaW@vizellamedia.com.
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