After Day 15 of my time as a small-town newspaper editor, I can confirm and amplify what I had always heard and believed: The smaller the staff, the more the paper reflects the editor’s personality. This paper will never be wholly Guy Lucas, unless Paxton cuts everything to the point that I’m the only one left, but I can look at it now, hold it alongside what it was before I got here and see my reflection. It also forces me to admit what I had believed before about papers this size and had hesitated to predict about myself: The stronger the editor’s personality and drive, the faster the change is visible. I wouldn’t say that unless former co-workers had not repeatedly teased me on Facebook, and I don’t say it to brag. Good or bad, who I am is out there, running full throttle and replacing my newsroom’s previous model of a swear jar with just swears. I yell, I exude, I cheer. When I can, I have a lot of fun. I hope it spills over and it’s not just me having fun, so that maybe especially with my new hires (one who started today, one still to be found) a little bug infects them, and they get the idea that being a little outrageous is what an editor ought to be.
The smaller the paper, the bigger the mirror
February 4, 2013 by Guy