Time to move down the road, literally

Aug. 18, 2014

by Ryan Gueningsman

Thursday morning was a prime example of why I am ready for a change.

A tip arrived in the newsroom of a serious traffic crash in Montrose and I responded to the scene.

I have been responding to “scenes” for the last 12-plus years, be it traffic crashes, fires, a train derailment, and any number of other situations directly impacting our local communities.

I’ve always taken pride in being a non-intrusive reporter. The last thing on the mind of someone going through a life-changing event is to talk to me.

That being said, the stories still get told. A good reporter will find a way to report the news, sharing the facts with the audience, while doing so from a respectful distance and not becoming part of the “scene.”

As I’ve written before, one thing that continually makes it challenging for reporters to do a solid job of reporting is the technological advances that have seemingly made everyone want to know everything now.

When I got back to the office after being at the accident scene, there was already chatter on social media and speculation on the circumstances of the incident. Simply put, I don’t like this.

Change is good, as are technological advances. But, when these advancements bring one’s most emotional or the worst events of their lives to the attention of all, often before that person or their families have even had a chance to grasp the situation, it’s time to take a step back and take a look at things.

Reporters see people in many different aspects of their lives – sometimes while sharing their love of a certain hobby or craft, or other times while facing a struggle head on.

Reporters (and not every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has a social media presence) are tasked with the daunting responsibility of documenting history and, in many cases, providing an official record of what happened.

These situations will still happen, and will still be reported by local and national media, and rightfully so. However, they won’t be reported by me.

I’m stepping away from the journalism world and have accepted the position of executive director with the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce. I formally begin the new gig Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The new position will allow me to remain in Delano, connected to the people I’ve gotten to know over the last eight years. Also, it affords me the opportunity to not only remain part of the community I’ve grown to call home, but to actively promote it.

I will still get to be involved with many events and activities in the community, without having to worry about the stress of a weekly publication deadline and generating content.

I hope to see many of you at the chamber office and at chamber-sponsored events in the months to come.

I encourage readers to submit news items to the Delano Herald Journal via e-mail at delano@heraldjournal.com, by calling (763) 972-1028, or by stopping by the office.

As the only editor, to date, of the Delano Herald Journal, I’m very appreciative of the many opportunities and experiences I’ve been able to share with this great community. I look forward to many more to come.