Bleeding the Black Ink

New faces at the newspaper

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In recent weeks, the Craig Daily Press has undergone some changes.

We saw the departure of two extremely talented reporters -- Josh Nichols and Paul Shockley.

Nichols, who had been at the Daily Press for almost two years, covered a wide range of topics including county government, education, The Memorial Hospital, environmental issues and a host of other subjects.

Shockley, who had been here since September, covered law enforcement, district court, some county issues and, like Nichols, a host of other general assignments.

Both reporters moved on to opportunities in the larger market of Grand Junction.

While turnover at a newspaper, especially in a smaller market, can seem like a setback, it certainly isn't unexpected.

As in other industries, people move on as these opportunities present themselves.

We at the Daily Press realize this and prepare for it.

For the most part, smaller newspapers act as a training ground for larger newspapers. This can be seen in a negative and a positive light.

We aren't always going to get the most experienced journalists in the field. But we are going to get bright, enthusiastic reporters who are ready to start a career and are hungry for a wide variety of experience that newspapers in smaller markets can offer.

We are prepared to educate and guide new reporters so that our readers won't notice a change in the quality coverage they are used to.

Reporters at newspapers in larger cities are often focused on a single beat -- municipal government, county government, courts or the school district.

Smaller markets, with obviously fewer resources, are still obligated to cover the same wide range of areas that make a community a community.

So the attraction of a smaller market to a journalist who is just starting out is that he or she will get a taste of all of those "beats" and be able to chose what he or she prefers when that reporter eventually moves on.

And with the experience gained at the Daily Press, those reporters become much more marketable to larger newspapers.

In the last month, we at the Daily Press have worked hard to find the right people to fill our new positions. We understand how crucial finding the right people will be not only to this newspaper but to the community as well.

Starting next week we will have two new reporters who will bring you comprehensive stories in a fashion that you have become accustomed to.

Jeremy Browning, a Craig local, is well informed on the issues that are important to Moffat County and will bring a wealth of area knowledge and insight to his position.

Amy Hatten has extensive experience working for newspapers in the Fort Collins area and in Western Colorado so she is familiar with issues that impact the Western Slope.

Liz King, a college intern from Pueblo, also will be working at the Daily Press throughout the summer, as well as Craig's own Jen Gray, who graduated from Moffat County High School this year and will be offering a look at issues involving area youth.

You may also notice new faces in our circulation and advertising departments. Ad consultant Cori Welch is a Craig native who worked for the Steamboat Pilot & Today prior to being hired at the Daily Press. She brings knowledge and experience to our publication.

While change can be difficult, we at the Daily Press see this as an opportunity to bring in new blood and new perspectives to your community newspaper. And while faces may change, our commitment to continue to bring you the most accurate, timely, useful news hasn't changed.

We continue to ask our readers to call us with their questions and concerns regarding the Craig Daily Press so we can continue to produce the quality news product that you expect and deserve.

"Bleeding the Black Ink" is a weekly column that aims at getting readers better acquainted with the Craig Daily Press, the First Amendment and the newspaper industry. Do you have a question or an issue for an upcoming column? Call Terrance Vestal at 824-7031 or email him at tvestal@craigdailypress.com.

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