In someone else’s shoes

In someone else's shoes
You know, I thought I had it pretty well figured out. I've been in the newspaper business since I was a freshman in high school. I started out at a weekly newspaper in Hartington, NE.

My mother worked there and they needed part-time help, so they gave me the opportunity to start out in their sheetfed operation. Pretty soon, I was promoted to darkroom technician, developing the film into photographs, and soon after, worked full time during the summers, running the sheetfed press, designing print products and helping to lay out the paper. I worked in Hartington off and on for about 10 years, and after college I was hired at the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan as a part-time accounting clerk.

From there I was promoted to full-time accounting clerk and also held positions as distribution manager, circulation director and classified manager. I've had the pleasure of measuring the paper, selling the ads, plating up the press and delivering the paper. I love every aspect of the print industry – the thrill of that next deadline! I've never really been afraid of change and felt I was pretty well-rounded when I took on this position at the Broadcaster Press.

What many of you might not know is that David Lias has been out sick for the past three weeks. While we await his healthy return, it has given us insight into what is entailed in the life of an editor. It's one set of shoes I had not had the opportunity to wear, and I'm not sure if they quite fit yet. If it's not covering a nightly meeting or sports event, it's reading the massive amounts of e-mail and mail that come through the door. The job is about deciding what the most important and universal subjects are to our readers.

Even with the stress of deadlines and many products we offer – from printing over 15 different newspapers to meeting the needs of our advertising and sheetfed customers – our employees put out exceptional products every day. Many times, I have to remind them of their role as a team in getting those products out. I tell them, "It's good to live at least one day in someone else's shoes."

I may be eating my own words, or I may have been sent a little gift – but I truly do feel it is good to live life in someone else's shoes.

In our business, the media consultants sell the ads which generate profit. The designers do just that: design and create a marketing strategy for our customers, whether it's an advertisement or a business card. There are the pressmen, who work hard to produce a product that the community can be proud of, and the mailroom employees, who stand and hand insert each preprinted advertisement into the paper and distribute to the carriers, who in turn brave the elements to get the information out to our faithful readers. And we can't forget the ever-important accounting clerk, who makes sure we deliver on our promise.

One glitch, one late ad or negative, one extra person out sick, one missed deadline and the fate of all is in the hands of the team.

But that's what's great about a team: relying on each other and knowing someone will be there. I've never been so grateful to work with such a fun team. And Dave, hope you're feeling better soon (we'll try not to get blisters).

While Dave is out of the office, if you would like to submit content for publication in the Plain Talk via e-mail, please send your materials including stories or pictures to our staff at either or also to Thank you so much for your cooperation.

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