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the up side of a small, community paper

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txsportsscribe, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    my sports editor's 5-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia the week of putting out 2 high school football preview special sections. needless to say he needed to be elsewhere physically and mentally. we (mostly me [the m.e. and former s.e.] and a production person) managed to muddle through and get 2 quality products done.

    while the s.e.'s little boy was in the hospital, we passed the hat throughout the office for cash needed for incidentals and made contact w/ the hospital to make sure all parking fees and parents' meals were charged to the newspaper. also, the s.e. ( a 1-person sports department) has had to miss work a number of times but never had to worry about it impacting his paycheck and a new laptop was hurried through for him to work away from the office when he has to.

    on saturday we held a parking lot sale that brought in probably close to $1,500 with plenty of people in the community either donating things to sell or just dropping by and making a cash donation. by the way, the sale was organized by the ad sales ladies and office ladies and the publisher happily gave the ok to run 1/4 page ads to promote the sale.

    so when you wonder why someone would choose to be at a small, community newspaper, don't forget to take into consideration the extra perks that don't always show up on your w-2 form.
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That's incredible. If only every shop did what yours has done.
  3. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    While I didn't think much of a former publisher, I give him all the credit in the world for helping one employee who was flooded out of her home following a hurricane. A few weeks after the flood water subsided, the paper organized a work afternoon at the employee's house (she was in production and made most of us in the newsroom feel like royalty in terms of finance).

    The publisher arranged for it on a Friday afternoon, and basically credited work hours for all who showed, provided food and some building materials to help repair the inside of the home. Class, class move ... and the employee we helped, one of the nicest people I've had the privilege to work with before or since, was eternally grateful.

    A story like txsportsscribe's is badly needed given some of the other grim topics on the board. Kudos to the publisher at this poster's paper and and to the poster, too.
  4. I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and had to miss a lot of work time for about a six-month stretch. My co-workers and folks around town were unbelievable to me (I was at a 3-x-week paper then). So many said, "whatever you need me to do, I'll do." and they meant it. and we took them up on it.

    I even got a game ball from the local football team after they won the conference championship. Everyone signed it from the team and huddled up at midfield to present it to me on one of my first nights back after my first surgery. My editors let me write about my experiences, from the initial diagnosis through to my last treatments. Probably some of my most blessed times in the biz, though the treatments were rough for awhle (one of my perks, mid-treatment, was covering the Fiesta Bowl even though that wasn't normally on my beat).

    And thank the Lord, I can say I'm cancer free now... three-plus years...

  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Keep Pounding, SB ...
  6. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I wasn't exactly thrilled with the politics of a former publisher of a family-owned paper, but when we first moved to town, a mysterious Santa Claus came by the duplex with oodles of toys for my two kids.

    I'm sure it came from the paper, and always smile when I think about it.

    I'm dying to get back to a small paper.
  7. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    txsportsscribe, that imay be the most positive story I've ever heard in the biz. Thanks for sharing. It nice to hear some good things surrounding our industry for a change.
  8. thetypewriter

    thetypewriter New Member

    i've always tried to convince people that working for a small newspaper could be as great as working for a huge one. this is a great example of that.
  9. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    Great town. Either I am living in a cynical careless place or no one likes me. LOL. Nice to know there are still decent people out there.
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I had a similar experience at my shop when I was diagnosed with cancer.

    The first person I told was our advertising director, who offered to drive me to the hospital for surgery. The second person I told was our production manager. I also told our Newspaper in Education person and later told the reporters.

    One of my reporters was a guy who was getting ready to start his last week on the job since he got a job as a PR flack that made twice as much as he was getting at my shop. In fact, at his new gig, he would be making $10K more a year than I was. Still, he willingly offered to -- and did -- take over for me while I was recovering from surgery. My last day before the surgery, my other reporter got me a card and some comfort food.

    I threw a going away party for the reporter who was leaving (which I passed off as an interns party as a cover-up since I knew he'd be embarrassed by the attention) and in the middle of HIS moment, he tried to turn the spotlight on me and my recovery.

    What made my health ordeal even better was the fact that my health insurance at the job turned out to be A LOT better than I thought...

    Even with my occasional problems dealing with the CEO and the publisher, I love just about everyone else at my shop. I later found out the grass isn't always greener on the other side...
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