There’s something of a cliché in the journalism Twitter world, whenever a reporter or editor moves on to another job, they start off the statement with ‘in personal news.’
It’s a phrase that’s used quite a bit in our industry as staffing in newsrooms across the globe becomes more turbulent and unpredictable.
Well folks, I have some personal news.
As of June 5, I will be joining the production department at The Chronicle Herald as a team editor. It’s an exciting new role for me and I’m happy I’ll still be part of the larger SaltWire family.
Sadly, this means that I’ll be leaving the pages of the Valley Journal-Advertiser, as well as the scrappy HantsJournal.ca.
I started here in February 2015, almost five years ago. In that time, I have met countless people, travelled all over the region, covered things I never thought I would.
I’ve explored old mansions, walked through ancient Acadian Dykelands, watched as first responders handle disaster with grace and professionalism, poured through bureaucratic and impenetrable documents, asked questions, captured images, and perhaps most importantly – listened.
My greatest, almost inexplicable honour is being a conduit for someone’s life and suffering and hardship in the hopes that at the end of the day, I can reflect that with a story that holds true to the subject’s experience.
It’s never a perfect process, but I hope that I’ve reflected the incredible people of Hants County with some dignity and respect.
This is the first newsroom I’ve ever worked in full time, so it’s fair to say that this place has shaped me a lot. And what a place to learn – covering court, council, the community at large. I have learned so much about this place – its quirks, its challenges, but also its incredible resiliency and the strength of its people.
Despite all of the controversies, the bickering, and the jockeying for position, Hants County remains a caring and compassionate place. Families and friends fight sometimes. It happens. But at the end of the day, we gather around the kitchen table, put our differences aside and find a way to work together.
I don’t think we say enough just how lucky we are, when we step back to think of the people in our lives. Our family, our neighbours, our colleagues, our fellow volunteers, the people who serve us coffee, the people who smile and wave as you walk by.
Every little interaction is a blessing in its own right – and I have been truly blessed to walk these streets, these trails and this wilderness with all of you.
I want to thank Carole Morris-Underhill, our diligent editor, for being my constant guide through it all. She’s caught my mistakes, highlighted the good, and has imparted an enormous amount of wisdom about this craft. I simply can’t thank her enough for being so generous with her experience and her skill.
I will miss our weekly story meetings, our attempts to juggle an impossibly busy week and your incredible baking, of course.
To Darlene and Sharon, the two women who have held the front desk during my time here, thank you for bringing so much light and happiness into the office.
I also have to thank the incredible team that puts this newspaper together each and every week throughout the Annapolis Valley. For the reader, this bundle of paper with stories and pictures shows up every week, filled to the brim with local content.
For us, it’s our blood, sweat, tears, late nights, missed suppers, scrapped plans with friends, sacrifices. But we do it every single week because we care about it and because we love it. There’s no other reason to do this but that.
I hope the readers here realize just how lucky they are for having this resource here, at home. Please don’t take it for granted.
Support local news.