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Return to writing has been enjoyable experience

| Staff Reporters
It seems a little hard to believe, but it’s been a little more than four months since I joined the staff here at the Crestview News Bulletin and Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette. While my primary job as editor has me working with our reporters on stories, organizing the budgets of the papers and of course editing all the stories, photo captions and graphics for accuracy and grammar (I do apologize for mistakes that sneak past me, they annoy me as well), this job has also given me a chance to return to my roots as a reporter and writer.

I obviously started my career in journalism as a reporter, but for the past five years I had primarily been an editor at different papers. While I would write the occasional story, those opportunities didn’t present themselves very often.

When I accepted this job, I knew writing would be a much more regular part of the my regular job duties and I was a little worried about how that would go.

I’m pleased to report it’s been like riding a bike. It’s been fun to stretch those creative muscles once again.
Most of my reporting for the Press Gazette so far has been writing some of the public safety articles, like the fatal New Year’s Day shooting that took the life of Pace resident Doug Davidson and a preview story of the volleyball fundraiser held for his family.

There have been the occasional story that has run in both papers, like state Rep. Dr. Joel Rudman announcing the filing of a proposed bill that would close a loophole allowing insurance companies to deny approval payment for a procedure months after they had previously approved it and paid for it.

However, the majority of my writing has been for the Crestview News Bulletin.

It’s been great getting entrenched in a community again and making contacts. I’ve gotten to work on stories that are important to the community, like updating the current progress of the Crestview bypass or Mayor JB Whitten’s ongoing efforts to battle the opioid epidemics.

And I’ve got some fun ideas coming up for future coverage. I’ve been speaking with Crestview Police Chief Stephen McCosker and starting this summer we’re going to be following a new police cadet through their time at the police academy and then their first months or year on the department after they graduate in a multipart series.

I’m really excited about that one and it should be kicking off in June or July.

Another part of the job I’ve really enjoyed has been getting to stretch my legs with photography more.

At every newspaper I’ve worked at before this job we’ve had at least one photographer on staff. So while I would take the occasional photo to run with my story, those opportunities were few and far between.

In college, I had to take one or two photography classes to get my journalism degree, and while I’m pretty sure I passed those classes I would never say I’m the greatest photographer.

That said, it is something I’ve always enjoyed. And while I’m not the greatest photographer, I have worked and been friends with some amazing photographers.

When I would go out on assignments for the Northwest Florida Daily News, I would always watch their photographers to see what they were doing, what angles they were shooting at and I learned a lot from them.

It’s been fun passing on what I’ve learned to some of our reporters, so hopefully you’ll be noticing better photos in the weeks and months to come.

So if you have a story idea for me, please reach out.

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