I have a confession to make. Whenever I am in another city (or state) the first thing I do is walk to the nearest gas station or newspaper bin, and get a copy of the local newspaper. Truth be told, I am a newspaper junkie. When I hear that friends are going on vacation somewhere, I don’t ask for a souvenir t-shirt or for a magnet, I ask for newspapers. When my brother went to Argentina on vacation, yep, I asked for a newspaper. When he went to China, I asked for a newspaper.
So it is no surprise whenever I visit my sister in Fort Worth or my parents in the Valley, I come back with tons of local newspapers. My office has stacks of newspapers; my car (at one time) had a lot of newspapers too. Now let me just stop, before I start to sound like an obsessive compulsive newspaper gatherer.
Last week when I was in Chicago and packing to head to the airport, I found myself in a newspaper war. I had to go through a process of elimination to figure out what newspapers I should leave behind and which I should take with me.
This may sound silly to some, but studying other newspapers from other areas opens my mind to different layout designs, story ideas and gives me an idea of what is going on around other newsrooms.
I look at fonts, advertisements, skyboxes and other things that might help me in my job. In my opinion, wanting to do better at any job, one must keep studying, learning and practicing what to do next.
Take the newspaper training I received last week. This was a two day social networking boot camp. I was lucky enough to listen to speakers that specialize in certain topics and explain to me how I can utilize these tools in my job. I am sure these people didn’t just decide to pick a topic and spend endless hours talking about it. No, they first had to practice what they learned and then put it out so others can learn from them.
In a few weeks, I will have that opportunity at the Victoria Advocate. What I learned at the boot camp, I will show others. Now that I think about it, I am beginning to get a little nervous and I must prepare. Until next time, don’t forget that the way to this journalist heart, is through newspapers!
Yep, that's me reading the Inlander, the Inland Press Association's monthly publication.
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