I have some news to share: they’ve gone and made the sports guy the editor of the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
As of today (June 13), I officially take over the editor’s desk here at the paper.
I’m thankful for the opportunity and I’m excited. I believe I’m taking this on with the right intentions and the sort of energy this new job will demand.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a sports reporter and for the past 13 years in Nanaimo, I’ve had that chance and loved my job. I haven’t tired of it – I’ve just diversified. Over the years, I’ve taken on a lot of other duties at the newspaper, because I could, and because I wanted to. I’ve cared about the sports pages, but I’ve also cared about every other page.
When the editor’s job became available last month, there was never any question about my interest in the position. I wanted to be empowered to do everything I could in helping to put out the best community newspaper possible twice a week, every week, and online all day, every day.
In the next few weeks, we hope to hire a new reporter who will be tasked with taking over the sports beat. I have a feeling it will be hard for me to hand that over to someone else after 13 years on the sidelines of Nanaimo’s sports scene.
I was fortunate enough to cover some great teams and some unforgettable seasons. There are too many moments to mention; perhaps I will recall them in this space in a future issue.
In a way, covering sports was straightforward. Every team sets out to win a championship, and the measurables are right there on the standings page for all to see.
That won’t always be the case when I’m sitting down and editing the news of the day. Presumably we all want what’s best for our city, our province, our country, but we define and measure that in completely different ways.
On the sports beat, there was a particular basketball referee who would jokingly reprimand me sometimes for clapping for the local team when it was playing an opponent from elsewhere on the Island. Because after all, I was supposed to be objective media, and there I was, cheering for Nanaimo.
The thing is, I’m not sure that necessarily needs to change. Of course I want to be fair and balanced and will expect that from my staff. We at the News Bulletin won’t be cheerleaders. But I don’t think it’s wrong to cheer for Nanaimo to win as a community.
I believe I have an understanding of the responsibility that comes with heading up Nanaimo’s only newspaper. I hope the paper will be better than ever and what I can promise is hard work. I will bring my own news judgment into this new role and at the same time I will keep an open mind. I have ideas about potential changes as far as content, but I also intend to listen and pay attention to what readers want from their local paper. I wish to hear from members of the community about what’s going on in Nanaimo and its neighbourhoods.
So like I said, I have news to share. More importantly, I know that you have news to share. I look forward to learning those stories and helping to tell them.