Sixty days.

That’s how long I’ve been editor of this great newspaper. While that isn’t a terribly long time inside the big picture, I have been able to determine few things about this area in that time.

The first one probably resonates the most. This is a great area. I can’t say or write that I was completely unfamiliar with Pendleton or Umatilla County before I left my communications and public relations job in La Grande. What I wasn’t aware of was the great people that make this area such a fine place to live and work. In the small amount of time I’ve been in Pendleton, I’ve met many good people who are enthusiastic about their home and the people who live here.

The other element to my first 60 days I find significant is the East Oregonian. I’ve worked at many newspapers in my career and this is clearly one of the better places I’ve worked at.

The staff of the newsroom and the people who work in our other departments are focused on providing a quality product for our readers. That means one of the biggest potential hurdles for a new editor — enthusiasm — is already present.

Our newsroom also symbolizes the kind of dedication and hard work that are necessary for any newspaper to be successful. Work as a reporter isn’t an easy gig anywhere and it can offer up its own set of unique challenges in a rural, local area.

Yet our newsroom is occupied by individuals that have shown me in the past 60 days that they truly care for our community. That kind of concern and attention from our reporters is essential if we are to be successful in the future.

Our newsroom has proven it is flexible enough to take advantage of shifting opportunities — and news stories — on a regular basis.

That is crucial for readers. Readers need to know that those providing their news are ready to tackle any subject — no matter how mundane — in an effort to keep them informed.

The newspaper industry has changed — since the day I decided to step into the profession. When I started out in this business, the online product wasn’t as important as it is now. When I began as a journalist, the world was a little different, a little slower and slowly stumbling into a faster future.

We present the news differently now as social media and the online product continue to gain in relevance. Yet our fundamental mission remains the same: Inform people and give them an unbiased review of what is important in their community.

I am grateful I was chosen to be the editor of this great newspaper and I am excited for what lays ahead. We are already off to a good start.

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