Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Goodbye to man who led paper to success
We received some sad news at the Victoria Advocate last week. Former Advocate editor James "Jim" W. Rech died Monday morning at the age of 83 after an extended illness.
Rech joined the Advocate in 1953 and worked his way up from a reporter to managing editor, executive editor and all the way to editor and vice president. In all, he worked at the Advocate 37 years before retiring in 1990. In an industry known for excessive amounts of daily stress and high employee turnover rates, that is an impressive commitment to Victoria and the success of your Advocate.
We are sad to see a leader like Rech pass away. He led the Advocate through many major developments and improvements, including the addition of color photographs in the paper. While his former coworkers remember him as a tough man with exacting standards, they also remember his commitment to excellence and readiness to lead by example, and we are grateful to him for that.
A career in journalism is not for the faint of heart. Every day, we push against deadlines, working to find the latest news and get the most accurate information for our readers. And once our work is published, we must accept public criticism of our efforts, whether it's true or undeserved. It is a rare person who can lead in the midst of this high-paced, stress-filled environment. Rech led, and did it well.
As the second-oldest newspaper in Texas, we have centuries of history that has made today's Advocate the successful community newspaper it has become. We know we play a part in our current success, but we also stand on the shoulders of the previous generations who built this publication company up from nothing. Their failures and successes brought us to this point, and we are grateful for leaders like Rech and the legacy they have passed down to us. We can only hope we will be able to pass on a similar legacy to those who come after us.
Thank you, Mr. Rech, for your years of leadership and commitment not just to this newspaper, but to the community of Victoria. Your years of commitment are appreciated. We would not be what we are today, if not for men like you.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.