Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » Merry Christmas -- and thank you


I knew little about Victoria before I became Advocate editor almost three years ago. I hoped I would find a good home for my family and a newspaper that cared about its community and meaningful journalism.

Christmas seems like a good time to say a little prayer of thanks for my good fortune on all counts. The McHaney and Roberts families who own the Advocate care deeply about our community and have supported the newsroom even during a recession that makes doing so all the more challenging.

Meanwhile, the Crossroads community has embraced my family in so many ways. As my wife and I were smiling at Indian dancers and munching on delectable naan at a recent Christmas party, I leaned over and said in Paula's ear, "I really like Victoria." She nodded.

Many Crossroads residents have lived here their entire lives, so they might not appreciate fully the warmth of their neighbors, not to mention the glow of our delightful winters. Even after we've lived here for two decades, we would still qualify as newcomers, but most have treated us like family from the day we arrived. For that, I can't say thank you enough.

Almost three years ago, I wrote a short essay describing my philosophy as a community newspaper editor, a fortuitous path that chose me three decades ago. I share it again here in the spirit of the season:

In the middle of perhaps the most challenging time in the history of the newspaper industry. I remind myself I'm living a dream. I try to treat each day as editor of the Victoria Advocate as a gift. I thank the newspaper’s owners, my co-workers and my community for their faith in me to do a job I still consider central to society.

I embrace the exciting opportunities presented by new media, but I believe newspapers’ future, whether in print or online, rests with the old-fashioned values of serving your community, creating meaningful connections, and trying to make a difference in your readers’ lives.

We're all family, after all. A newspaper should be that close friend who cheers your successes, cries over your losses, and prods you to be better than you ever thought possible.

When I reflect upon the challenges each day presents, I look above my desk at the framed picture my daughter made for her kindergarten graduation. She drew herself holding hands with her father; underneath, she wrote, as carefully as any 6-year-old could, this headline: “My dream is to be an editor.”