Around the Watercooler

Even as the publisher, Jason Hennington (left) still co-hosts Around the Watercooler. First with former sports editor Reagan Roehl and now with Matt Hooks, sports reporter.

Today, March 1, marks one year since I took over as the publisher of the Taylor Press. And what a year it has been.

I have learned so much in this role that I never knew. At the same time, being in this role confirmed some of the things I’ve thought about. Not all are good, but not all are bad.

Overall, I think the past year has prepared me to grow as a person, and as a professional. I have tried to incorporate more with the paper with a younger generation in mind. I have also tried to incorporate things that would grab the attention of our seasoned readers.

As a publisher I have had to step out of my comfort zone of just writing. Now not only am I writing, I am selling ads, delegating – which I am still having a problem with – planning future editions and special sections and more.

I have found myself out in the community more, but not as a reporter, now just rubbing shoulders and representing the paper. Hopefully I have done a good consistent job of being visible. Before I was just in the background taking photos and getting names. Now I am chatting it up with major players and exchanging ideas to help move the community forward. Regardless how small the ideas are, they are always about how things can make Taylor a better place to live.

I feel like the paper has grown a little bit as far as content and interest, although we sometimes have fewer pages. We have brought in a few more people to advertise and sponsor parts of the paper, which is always a plus. Afterall, that’s how we stay in business.

I’ve learned so much from the people before me and I try to apply it to the paper now.

In one year, I have been able to learn more about the journalism business, people, the community and myself.

I’ve learned that not everyone who smiles and says hello has your best interest in mind. Sometimes they are just trying to better position themselves and will turn their back at the first opportunity.

This position has given me a little more confidence in myself and my abilities, so hopefully I can continue to improve as a publisher. If you feel differently, please let me know.

I’ve learned that depression is a real mental illness and if not addressed it can not only hurt the depressed person, but the people around said person. You don’t have to go through it alone. There are people who share the same feelings and can help you cope (hi Bridget, Amanda and Kenneth).

One very important thing I learned during this year is that publisher conventions are not all cocktails and golf. There is actually a lot of work involved. That was a huge misconception I had.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now, but before I do, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the paper over the last year. We had a lot of changes, but we still try to be the best award-winning community newspaper for you – the readers.

“Since first impressions are the last impressions, be sure to celebrate your first anniversary as if it is the most important anniversary of your life.”

- Anonymous

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