One of the things about small newspapers, nearly every small newspaper, is that staff often come and go. Young reporters accept positions far from home to gain experience, but the plan is nearly always to move up and on.
I’ve said many times, that was my plan. Why else would a twenty-something move 16 hours from home to do a job like this one — long hours, angry readers and frustrating sources. And for what? Daily critiques of everything you do.
But we love it. It’s the thrill of finding information that nobody else knows — information vital to the public’s lives — and being able to share it.
We get to spend our days fulfilling our curiosity, asking questions and chatting with people from all walks of life. You couldn’t ask for a better gig.
On that note, The Sheridan Press has a couple of new staff members and we’re still in the process of hiring two other positions.
Mike Pruden recently joined the newsroom as our primary sports reporter. He’ll lead the coverage of all the local athletic action, and has already started meeting the coaches and teams. He covered his first rodeo last week and has been keeping up on local baseball teams since day one.
Mike moved out here from Indianapolis, where he worked with the Pacers organization. He’s a Cubs fan, which was reason enough to hire him, and he has already impressed our readers and coaches with his enthusiastic coverage.
Kendra Cousineau, too, will help with sports coverage. In the past, The Press has had just one full-time sports reporter. That has lead to fast burn-out rates and overwhelmed staff. Kendra’s position is brand new. She’ll cover a mix of sports, community events and handle things like birth and anniversary announcements for our “People” page.
Kendra joins the staff in Sheridan after graduating from Missoula this spring. She’s spunky and young, and has been working hard to get into a routine in our newsroom.
We keep looking for the next two journalists to join our team. Recently, our graphic designer, Doug Sanders, left The Press to move West. He’s now living in Portland, where his fiancée moved earlier this year. We’re also keeping an eye out for a new business and crime reporter.
We’ve advertised, we’ve interviewed, but nobody yet has quite fit the bill. So we press onward with the staff we have – capable, motivated and determined. After all, this is the greatest job ever.