Yesterday marked two years since I joined the Banner Graphic newsroom in 2018.
Eric was still editor-in-chief then, and Jared found himself taking me under his wing as the new staff writer. I was bestowed my beat, and I was rarin' to go in my new job. When I reflected on my one-year anniversary this time last year, I considered it a fresh start, a kind of personal redemption, to come back and be a reporter in my hometown.
Things were also beginning to look different here in our corner. Eric's health issues had sidelined him, and Jared pretty well took up his role in all but the title. I tried to step up more during this time with proofing. I thought we made a good two-man team.
I was there when Jared needed me in the evenings. But I was still on the clock, and kept to my beat and what was asked of me. The thing is that I reveled in it; I still do.
Jared wrote in his latest "Last-Minute Musings" column that, up to this point, the past year has partly been "a whirlwind of often working short-handed." Immediately after this, he briefly mentions "watching (my) development" as a reporter. These two observations -- at least on just reading them -- seem to be unintentionally disparate.
What I will stress is that I am my own reporter -- but that we are still a cohesive team.
With Jared now the BG's editor, but Eric still with both of us as a mentor, I'm still the grunt regularly going outside of Greencastle to the town councils and school boards I cover. Putting it this way, I'm keeping my head down and doing my job the best I can.
But I'm a grunt who has been given much autonomy and creative expression, both in my reporting and in this blog. This freedom has partly encouraged my growth here.
The other part is having the opportunity to engage with community leaders and the schools, which I think is a unique privilege. This profession is ultimately about seeing the big picture, and it's crucial for each of us to be engaged as community members.
I will still stand by the camaraderie we promote, especially between me and Jared. Discussing strategies and different angles, as well as making fun of a sadistic-sounding automaton on the scanner, are examples of this. We will hunker down in our desk-sized bubbles, and then the banter comes. We both thrive off of this back-and-forth.
These are the greatest parts of working here at the Banner Graphic. I think that other fellow journalists might concur the same about their own newsrooms. This job can be so much about growing as your own person, if you let it. It certainly has been for me.
I still believe I'm a little less "green" every day, and this makes what I do worthwhile.