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View From the Green

Change: A Challenge And an Opportunity

 

By Ruth Melville

Norfolk Now is losing one of its longest-serving and most highly valued editors. After 10 years as an executive editor of the paper, Lindsey Pizzica Rotolo has decided to retire.

Lindsey joined the paper in 2006 to take over distribution, but she was quickly writing articles and by November of 2007 she was made an executive editor. Over the years she also served as business manager of the paper, and treasurer and president of the board of directors.

Both as a writer and an editor, Lindsey has had a major impact on Norfolk Now. The numbers alone are telling: she estimates she wrote 89 articles and edited 25 issues. Her sharp editorial instincts, and her long history with the paper, made her an invaluable colleague. Lindsey was never hesitant to fight for what she thought was right for the paper, and we will miss her insight in our editorial discussions and planning.

What this means on a more practical level is that the paper is actively on the lookout for more staff members. From a recent high of four executive editors (plus a consulting editor and a guest editor), we are now down to three of us, which is a skeleton crew for putting out 11 issues a year.

What do executive editors do?  Basically, they take turns editing the monthly issues. The issue editor takes primary responsibility for that month’s issue. He or she assigns the articles and arranges for photos, edits the articles when they come in and, finally, works with the art director to shepherd the issue through layout and reading proofs.

We can’t deny that the job requires a lot of work, and involves some nail-biting and hair pulling, especially the first couple of times you do it. But with a bit of practice, it’s also creative and fun, and—as co-founder Lloyd Garrison always told new recruits—it’s one of the best ways to learn about the people and issues of your hometown of Norfolk, Conn., population 1,787.

But if being an executive editor sounds too daunting, there are other ways to take part in the newspaper. In the past, we’ve had editors whose main job was to scout out potential news stories. Or maybe you’d like to regularly attend a town meeting and report on the Economic Development Commission, or the Board of Selectmen, or the Board of Finance. Editing the Community News page at the back of the paper could also be a separate task that would require only a couple of hours a month.

And of course, we always—always—need writers, and we are happy to work with anyone who wants to give it a try.

It’s hard to lose skilled and experienced colleagues. But in the end, Norfolk Now can only benefit from the fresh perspectives and creative energy that new writers and editors will bring.

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