It’s Not about the Bylines

It never gets old seeing my name on the front page of the paper. It always feels pretty good. I thought I would get used to it, but I haven’t.

Not every one of my stories makes it to the front page, but that’s okay. Each story I write has my name on it. It’s kind of nice to be able to say, “I wrote that.”

With over 370 bylines so far, at the Chronicle, I don’t remember all of them, but there are many that I will never forget. They seem to stick with me, the happy stories and the sad ones.

Yes, it’s nice to have your name in the paper, but that’s not what being a reporter is about.

It’s not about the money, fame or power. It’s about informing the public.

I don’t think I’m famous or powerful, by any means. I do see myself with a huge responsibility, though.

My job is to inform our readers, both online and in print, about what’s going on and where it’s happening. I really feel like it’s my job to make sure I don’t miss the important news or incident in town. I don’t care if it’s a small brief or a 25″ feature, each story has its importance with someone in the community.

We are just writing the news. It’s what we are paid to do.

When I first started, I was obsessed with my A1, above the fold, stories.

Maybe I had that “hotshot” mentality when I first started, but, now, it’s all business. I’m writing for thousands of people I will never meet. I’m writing for the people that take the time to read the news.

The story above has three names attached to it (My colleague, Michelle Firestone has her name at the end of this story). That’s pretty rare.

Like I said before, it’s about working together and getting the paper out.

Some days we wish we could charge extra. Like that will ever happen.

Jonathan

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