Jun 01, 2012 Amanda Seef Uncategorized
It was somewhere between calling Belle Brown about the dissolution vote in the village of Camillus, and the first town board meeting with public comment banned in Manlius, that I realized I loved Central New York.
It’s diverse, and offers a bit of everything. The villages are quaint and cute, the towns are full of interesting stories and compelling tales to tell.
It’s a journalist’s dream, really.
I had left Central New York. I stayed in Rochester for about two years after graduation, but came home after, ironically, I lost my first journalism job. Having grown up in Chittenango, I was a Madison County-lover. I never really left the county, except maybe to venture into Fayetteville or Manlius, when I worked at the P&C.
Camillus? Jordan? Downtown Syracuse? Whole new world.
My coverage area spanned most of the county, a straight path through the center starting at the county line where the town of Sullivan meets Manlius, and ending in Elbridge and Jordan. It was a big area to cover. And diverse.
Driving from one end to the other took about an hour, but also provided a look into all walks of life in Central New York. I cherished those long drives, looking into the hearts of each community. I love being a journalist, and I loved covering these communities.
When I came to Eagle, I joined a great team. They’re talented and their heart beats for their communities. They all taught me so much. Managing Editor Jen Wing told me time and time again, “We’re like a family.” It was true — the people who put the papers together each week aren’t just there for the communities, they’re there for each other. Whether you love Eagle, or hate it, know that the people behind Eagle are fantastic people. You are all so lucky to have been served by them in some capacity.
But I must bid adieu, just as many journalists are doing across the country. Tough economic times mean newspapers can’t always exist in their typical format. Community newspapers are no exception. I know the decisions that were made weren’t made easily, nor haphazardly. The way news operates is changing — we heard all about it in college. I was told more than once to drop journalism and go into something more fruitful, something with a more stable future. But I didn’t. News is my passion, and it always will be. Newsprint doesn’t fade from your blood in an instant, I suppose. I’m only 23, but I don’t see gathering and reporting the news — the news that matters — leaving my life any time soon.
It’s a tough time to be the news. The industry is going to continue to evolve, and the way news is delivered isn’t going to be the same as it was five years ago. But the people, they’re going to be the same — the same newsmen and women with a thirst for community news. I have no idea where the news industry is heading — I would need a crystal ball to decipher that. I hope newspapers are around in five, 10, even 20 years. I hope my kids can have the same tradition of reading the Sunday morning paper with their parent as I did with my dad. But we’ll never know what the future of news is, until it’s happening. We won’t know until the boss decides the paper is in a rut and something has to change. And those changes hurt, but they’re understandable.
I don’t know where I’ll end up. But I know I’m thankful for all that you, the people in the communities, have provided me. I know I’m a better person because of all you’ve taught me about Central New York.
Amanda Seef can be reached at email@example.com.