I began my newspaper career as a photojournalist and moved into an editor's role by chance when my editor left and the publisher kept coming back to me, asking me to take the job. Finally, I did, and I have been an editor, managing editor, assistant publisher, publisher and photojournalist ever since.
I have worked on numerous daily and non-daily community newspapers for nearly 30 years and have made a career choice to work at community newspapers instead of the big city guys.
Six years ago, my wife and I left Arizona for what we thought would be brighter pastures in Idaho and later headed to Texas.
It has taken us those six years to realize what we have been missing and for us to find a way to return to Arizona, where we previously lived for nearly 14 years.
Living and working in Payson was a passing thought for years, but early this summer the opportunity to join the Payson Roundup made it possible for us to return to what we consider one of the most beautiful places in this great country.
Along the way, I was given many awards for my work -- most recently three photo awards, along with a sweepstakes, general excellence, sports and educational coverage honors in Texas.
I have been fortunate that my newspaper career has allowed my wife and I to live and work in some beautiful places, but none more appealing than Payson. In my 30-year newspaper career, I have worked in Kentucky (my home state), New Jersey, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and for 13 years in Sedona and a short time in the White Mountains.
Most recently, my wife and I were owners and publishers of a small community newspaper south of San Antonio that had been in existence since 1877. I loved publishing my own newspaper, but hated south Texas. We were ducks out of water there.
All the things we like to do were not available to us in south Texas -- like hiking and other outdoor activities -- which makes us look forward to living in Payson.
But we were able to take a paper on the decline and turn it into a profitable and award-winning newspaper during the slightly more than two years we owned it.
Why turn down the opportunity to work for a big city paper? Atmosphere, friendliness, community spirit and, even in Payson, less traffic. Also, community journalism allows me the opportunity to do a little bit of everything -- take great photos, write and be part of the whole newspaper process. And, from my vantage point as the editor, truly be part of and have an impact on the community in which I live.
There is little in the newspaper business I have not done. I have covered city and county government, legislatures, school boards and other beats ranging from agriculture to water rights. Probably my biggest enjoyment is creating storytelling photos, packaged with a great story.
I firmly believe that, as community journalists, we are storytellers. Our job is to gather information from a wide variety of sources and turn that into an insightful and informative story for readers. I also believe that, unlike our daily newspaper brethren, community newspapers are growing in popularity and readership because we provide information that is not available from any other source.
I pledge to continue the Roundup's tradition of providing readers with honest and truthful stories about all aspects of community life. We will try very hard to keep any personal thoughts out of our stories and just present to readers the news in a truthful fashion.
We will express our opinions, with the help of our editorial board, on our opinion page, but not in our news stories. I encourage all residents to share their thoughts on any issue that is important to them through our letters to the editor section. If you have a news item, send it to us. If it is important to you, then it is important to us.
My door is always open to anyone who wants to come in and meet me or talk about any issue. You will see me out and about with a camera over my arm at numerous community events.
Please come up and introduce yourself.