Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


July 18, 2011

Just Ask Janet

JACKSONVILLE — First, a big Thank You! to Ben Peacock for the lovely surprise he left on my voice mail Friday afternoon. It is a rare thing to get a compliment here for the paper, and he left a really, really nice compliment on my voice mail. Words of support and encouragement, aka – positive reinforcement – are always so much more helpful and productive than negativity. I will share that voice mail with my department heads when we have our monthly meeting this week.

I also wanted to share with you that I think we may have filled all of our vacancies. I will know for sure about the last one early next week. In the meantime, I can tell you a little about our new people in the News Department. We will run an article with pictures and more information about them next week, but for now, here’s just a tidbit about each.

Karla Clark from Mt. Selman is freelancing for us while she finishes up her Master’s Degree in political science at the University of North Texas. (Her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism is from UT Tyler.) She’s been with us several weeks now but has really been working for us a lot this past week. We are hoping once she’s completely done with her master’s we can figure out a way to keep her on a permanent basis.

Faith Harper from Bullard is our newest reporter, to replace Tim Monzingo. She started on Monday. Faith graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos in August 2010 with a degree in Journalism. She went to her first rodeo this week right here in Jacksonville. We held a drawing amongst our employees for the paper’s rodeo tickets and Faith was one of the four winners. She called her Dad and he came down and went to it with her.

Tomorrow, our new Managing Editor starts. His name is Dave Mathews and he comes to us from the Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, but he is originally from Texas having worked for the Baytown, Galveston and Houston papers before this, plus several other papers in other states. Dave has a brother in the Houston area, more family in the Dallas area and his Mom lives in Gun Barrel City. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism.

Tuesday Marivel Resendiz starts work. She is a May graduate of Texas State University. Her degree is Mass Communication in Journalism. Believe it or not, she and Faith don’t know each other and didn’t cross paths while they were there. Both were on the college newspaper staff at different times and had different classes and different teachers. She comes to us from San Antonio. Marivel is bilingual and I think that will be an asset here at the paper as we try to become more diversified in our staff as well as in our news coverage in our paper. Our goal is to make this paper more representative of our community and our county as it exists today.

Our Advertising Director position has been offered and we are awaiting an answer early next week.

Please take a moment to welcome these new folks to town. And please, don’t bombard them with complaints about this paper’s past mistakes. They have no control over that and can’t go back and fix it. All they can do is the best they can today. They are well aware of the paper’s recent history and are positive and gung-ho about being a part of making it better.

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