By Craig Hastings
“Well, was that the last story you’re going to write for the paper?” I guess my explanation of what my role would be after the sale of The Journal last week wasn’t clear enough. I’ve been asked this same question three times in the last ten days. I’m now what in this business is referred to as a “stringer”. What’s that? I write stories, editorials, etc. and submit them to the editor of The Journal, and the editor will either decide to use my writings or not. If my stories are published I get compensated, and if they’re not I don’t. In my particular arrangement I can write “My Personal Side” each week or not. Just because I write it doesn’t mean it will be used either. A simple arrangement that works for both of us.
That said, if some week my column doesn’t appear don’t jump to any conclusions. I may simply have decided not to write that week or the editor needed room for something else in place of my column. I promise if given the opportunity, should I decide to stop writing I will tell you in several columns before I exit out. After ten and a half years of feeling the “have to” pressure to write 50 of 52 possible columns each year this new arrangement takes some pressure off my aging mind. In time I’m sure the new owners will want to have their editor write their own column each week and my own will not be needed as often. Until they do though, put me in coach, I got this.
I’m asked if mom and I have any regrets. My answer is no. And I say this because when the time is right you know it. We both knew mom needed to finally break away and just enjoy the rest of her days stress free. I love the newspaper business, and that’s why you’re reading this. “Well why didn’t you retire and just take the paper and run it yourself?” Because I’m not done with the first career love of my life: being a police officer. Had I already been retired I would have done just that. I’m satisfied with my decision, and mom is satisfied with hers. Anyway, here I still am pecking away at 1 a.m. on this same laptop that shares countless late nights with me.
I’m staying to help in any way I can. Of course I want Better Newspapers Inc. to succeed and excel beyond what my mother and I were capable of accomplishing. I guess mom and I were just getting too old to be interested in moving any farther forward than we had! LOL! We had rocked back in our saddles comfortable and satisfied. We took a “don’t fix what’s not broken” approach these last several years. We were having fun and maintaining a positive financial standing, so why not? Finally, and again, “My Personal Side” will still be published in The Journal and Tri-County Journal just probably not 50 times a year. Thank all of you for reading.