Jan 22, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The past few weeks have been a transitional period at the Cazenovia Republican, as we said goodbye to previous editor Pierce Smith and the managing editor of Eagle Newspapers (the parent company of the Republican), Jen Wing, briefly took charge until I was able to come on board full time. I am pleased to tell everyone that last week I officially took over duties as editor of the Republican, and this is my first issue. I also wanted to take a moment (and some editorial space) to introduce myself to the community.
My name and/or face may seem familiar to many readers for a variety of reasons. My family and I have lived in Caz for going on five years now, I have occasionally contributed articles to the Republican and Pierce Smith ran articles about me in my concurrent profession as a historian and author.
But let me start at the beginning. I was raised in the town of East Rochester, a suburb of Rochester. I achieved my associate’s degree at Monroe Community College, my bachelor’s degree in English and writing at SUNY Potsdam and did some graduate work in English and history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
My wife (who grew up in Skaneateles) and I lived in Fredericksburg, Va., for eight years after college, but, when our daughter turned five, we decided we wanted to return to Upstate New York so she could be closer to grandparents and grow up in a small town just as we did. We settled in the village of Cazenovia in 2008.
I have been a journalist for about 15 years. I started on The Racquette, the SUNY Potsdam college newspaper, where I was a reporter, then the news editor and, during my senior year, the editor-in-chief. After graduation, I worked for 14 months as a reporter on the Malone Telegram, a daily newspaper in Malone, NY, where I covered anything and everything that occurred in Franklin County.
My wife and I then moved down to Fredericksburg, and I took a job as a reporter for LRP Publications in their Washington D.C. bureau. There, I covered human resource issues for federal employees for LRP’s daily website, and weekly and monthly newsletters. While the subject matter of that job was not always the most exciting thing (my specialty was federal workers’ compensation issues) it was an exciting job in that I worked in Washington, I attended hearings and meetings on Capitol Hill, in the House and Senate office buildings, in the Pentagon and even covered a few oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court.
When my daughter was born in 2003, I resigned to become a freelance writer and stay-at-home dad. I continued doing stories for LRP, as well as other similar companies covering the same federal issues in and around D.C.
As I mentioned I am also a historian, and during this time I also wrote and published history articles in numerous academic journals and popular history magazines such as American Heritage, American History and Civil War Times, among others. My area of specialty is Abraham Lincoln, so most of my articles were about him, his family and the U.S. Civil War. (In my younger days I also worked as a National Park Service park ranger at Lincoln’s Home in Springfield, Ill., Gettysburg National Military Park and the Arch in St. Louis.)
I am the author of three books and the editor of two, and I have two more books currently in production. I have won some awards for my history work, spoken to groups all over the country and been on The History Channel, Book TV and American History TV. I won’t spend time on my history resume here, but anyone who is interested can check out my personal website at jasonemerson.com.
For the past 20 months I have been the editor of the Skaneateles Press newspaper, also a member of the Eagle Newspapers family, even though I have lived in Cazenovia. When Pierce decided to resign from the Republican, the opportunity to take over for him and work in the same town in which I live was too good to pass up. However, I could not start full time at the Republican until Eagle had hired my replacement for the Press, which they did last week.
I am so pleased and excited to be the editor of your community newspaper, and I look forward to continuing its great work. As I get settled in to the job, you may see some changes to the paper in its content and design. If there are aspects of the Republican that you as readers and community members particular like or dislike, and would prefer to see kept or scrapped, please let me know. I am open to any ideas.
The only thing I am committed to as a community newspaper editor is bringing you the news and stories you want and deserve. I believe in asking the difficult questions about major issues or events and prompting debate, consideration and, hopefully, participation in what goes on in this village and town. It’s not always an easy job, but a responsible editor needs to be not only connected to the community, but willing to question and occasionally challenge members of that community to get to the core of a story. We won’t always agree on issues, but then, if we did, I would not be adequately doing my job as your newspaper editor.
I look forward to working with and serving everyone in Cazenovia. If you want to meet me or just stop in and chat, please come by the Republican office on the second floor above Dave’s Diner. I will be working out of that office every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and my door will always be open.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.