Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Newspaper Habit

Some habits are worth keeping while others should be abandoned like biting your nails. One long-term habit that feeds into my writing and editing life is my love of the local newspaper.

My personal love affair with the newspaper started in high school and was expanded during my college journalism training.  I had a news editorial emphasis. Mr. Ralph Holsinger, former editor at the Cincinnati Enquirer, taught an advanced reporting/ editing class which was one of the required classes. One of the class requirements was to read several national newspapers along with the local campus newspaper every day. Mr. Holsinger had pop quizes with his course and you had to be prepared for them. These news quizes had specific questions such as Where is Vice President ____ today? As young reporters, we learned to file away these types of details and collect them from reading the newspaper. It’s a habit that has stuck with me for over 30 years.

I love to read about my local environment and the newspaper is often a breeding ground for story ideas, insight and leads. Personally, I love the feel of newsprint and glean a great deal of information from the newspaper. When I travel, I read the local newpaper and depending on the location, possibly a national newspaper. Each spring when I attend the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ conference, I love to read The New York Times.

The newspaper habit has been an important one for my writing and editing life. It’s one that I’m determined to keep.

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