Meet your new editor
Change is hardly ever an easy thing, and you, Faithful Reader, have been through your share of it lately.
In the past few months, you’ve seen your hometown newspaper shift from a four-day-per-week to a two-day-per-week print schedule, and you’ve also probably noticed some pretty striking changes in the look and layout of the paper.
And now, here I am — someone you’ve probably never even heard of — sitting in the editor’s chair at 466 Yampa Ave.
In my experience, most of the difficulty in coping with change can be tied to the uncertainty that invariably accompanies it. It takes you from something you know to something you don’t, and that can be unsettling.
So, I wanted to take a moment and try to remove at least a little of that uncertainty.
First of all, there’s me, the new guy, the guy you’ve probably never heard of.
My name is Jim Patterson. Actually, it’s James Patterson, but my parents, for some reason or another, chose to name me one thing and call me another.
I’m originally from South Arkansas, and when I say “South,” I mean it. Drive 45 miles south of the place I was born, and you’re in Louisiana.
I’ve worked in the field of print journalism for more than 20 years. I started out in 1996 as a beat reporter in my hometown — a small, agricultural/industrial town called Camden — and gradually moved through several positions at several Arkansas newspaper before, two and a half years ago, I decided to follow my lifelong dream and relocate to the Rocky Mountains.
Since February 2015, I’ve served as evening editor/copy desk chief at Steamboat Pilot & Today, and on Monday, I took over as editor of your newspaper. My philosophy of the news is really pretty simple: First, tell the truth — always and no matter what — and second, tell that truth in a responsible, respectful way.
That’s the commitment I make to you. You may not always agree with what you read in these pages, and you may occasionally take exception to our editorial choices. But you will always find truth here, and when we make mistakes — and I’ll tell you right now, we’ll occasionally make them — we will promptly acknowledge and correct them.
I realize that, at this point, my words are only words. You don’t know me, after all, and it would be unreasonable for me to ask you to trust me when, as of now, you have no evidence I’m worthy of any such thing. Even so, I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to earn your trust.
You’d also be well within your rights to wonder how long I even plan to stick around. Well, no one knows what tomorrow will bring, but I can tell you this: I came to Craig because I wanted to, because I want to make Craig and Moffat County my home. From what I’ve seen, you have a lot going for you here, and honestly, Craig, Colorado, isn’t all that different from Camden, Arkansas (though the weather here is much nicer). Both towns are grounded in hard work, solid values and strong community, and that’s exactly the kind of town I want to call home.
I hope this column serves to alleviate at least a little of the uncertainty. I look forward to getting to know you and anticipate great days ahead for Craig and Moffat County. I’m honored to be a part of that and privileged to be a part of your community.
Please feel free to contact me any time, whether you have a concern, a complaint or just want to say “hi”. I’d love to hear from you.
Jim Patterson is editor of the Craig Press. Contact him at jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com or 970-875-1790.