It's a bit disheartening when during your college career words such as "decline" and "collapse" become closely associated with the industry you're preparing to enter.
"Are newspapers dead?" has been a question posed in hundreds of articles written over the last handful of years. Many great newspapers have indeed perished as advertisers have channeled their money elsewhere, and most of those that remain have seen a bevy of layoffs and cutbacks.
The volitile environment of the industry, however, was unable to deter me from following my original path. I had a tremendous time working as a reporter and editor at the student-run paper at the University of South Dakota, an experience that only strengthened my desire to become a journalist.
The year 2009 was a terrible time to try to enter the workforce as a reporter, but I fortunately found a job at the Marshall Independent within the first few months after graduation and have been here ever since. I've enjoyed my time here and have had the opportunity to interact with some great coaches and athletes, cover several outstanding teams and tell some fascinating stories.
My role at the paper has recently changed, as last Friday I accepted the sports editor position that was vacated by Joe Brown at the end of August. I've worked under two different sports editors in my time here at the Independent (Joe Brown and David Griswold) and each had his own style of handling coverage and leading the section. I, too, will have my own style.
It may take a little time for sports reporter Travis Andries and I to get our feet under us as we enter the thick of the fall sports season, and hopefully we can quickly fill the other full-time sports reporter opening that was left when I moved up so that we can take a breather every now and then. But I do plan on trying to implement new ways of covering sports in our area and I look forward to interacting with readers.
It's become quite clear that newspapers must keep up with the changes in technology and the new ways people access and share information if they hope to remain relevant in today's society. I'm going to try my best to make sure the Independent's sports department stays up to speed in this regard. Expect to see an integration of Twitter into our coverage as well as more videos posted on our website, some audio slideshows and more.
I'm looking forward to the future. I'll see you there.
NOTE:?Coaches and athletic directors, please send future emails to firstname.lastname@example.org