Once a reporter, always a reporter? Maybe so.
For me, working on the Chronicle is coming full circle.
My first job was at a newspaper. I was a high school file clerk/typist and in short order a writer at my neighborhood paper, The Daily Calumet. Its moniker was “America’s Oldest Community Newspaper” and it reported on South Shore, South Chicago, the East Side, Hegewisch and outlying neighborhoods from 1881 until 1987.
My job at The Cal paid for my study trip to Europe and my tuition at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and it was the best training ground one could ask for. I learned how to recognize a story, develop it and write it in Associated Press style. With five years experience at The Cal and my college degree, I got a full-time position at The Times in Hammond, Ind.
I suddenly found myself covering a whole community—government, schools, parks, civic organizations, local legislators, court cases. I learned much in short order thanks to terrific editors who mentored me, scrappy reporters who taught me the ropes, a wonderful school business manager who instructed me on how tax dollars were collected and spent, clerks who would give me the time of day answering a myriad of questions.
I spent 12 years working as a reporter covering communities in Illinois and Indiana as well as specialty beats, such as education and the environment. I decided to give up a day shift topped with night meetings and go for a 9-5 work routine.
I was lucky to get a position in the Governors State University Public Relations Office. There were so many departments at GSU that I always found a story. I wrote press releases and got to be the editor of a staff newsletter. I worked with a team developing informational brochures, served as producer of a public access program, and earned a master’s degree. That was a great job for 10 years.
That was followed by a job downtown at The John Marshall Law School for nearly 18 years directing PR efforts. My news audience wasn’t local, now it was regional, national and international. I got quite an education on the law and the courts.
Writing is still the number one skill of anyone in news, but social media has changed the delivery of the written word. The Chronicle allows for the best of both worlds.
I’m writing stories that are of interest and they’re delivered to you electronically.
I’m excited to be once again providing local news — the fabric of our community.