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“The People behind the Papers” is a Q&A series featuring the employees of 22nd Century Media who play an integral role in producing 15 community newspapers. The project is designed to give readers an inside look at the personalities that drive the journalism you have read weekly in print and daily on our websites. To support the work we do, please consider subscribing at www.SubscribeMessenger.com or through any of our other 14 newspapers.
What do you do at 22nd Century Media?
I'm the editor of The Glenview Lantern. I basically cover anything and everything going on in the Village of Glenview, except for sports. I leave that to the pros: Michal Dwojak, Michael Wojtychiw and Nick Frazier.
What does your job at 22nd Century Media mean to you?
More than just an opportunity to do what I love, my job at 22nd Century Media gives me the opportunity to keep thousands of people informed about their community, and I don't take that responsibility lightly. It also gives me the opportunity to work alongside so many talented and passionate reporters, who can be inspiring to watch in action.
What is the most memorable story you've written during your time here?
One of the stories that will stick with me forever is one I wrote about a Glenview woman who recently lost her husband and the father of her two children to cancer. I've spoken to families in the wake of tragedies before, but seeing her positivity, hope and graciousness during one of the worst times of her life was truly moving. I have drawn much encouragement from her strength during these uncertain times.
What have you learned about the community you cover that you otherwise might not have known?
As a recent Illinois transplant, I knew nothing of Glenview before freelancing for 22nd Century Media. One thing I may not have known without spending 40-plus hours a week covering Glenview for the past 18 months is just how generous many of the Village's residents are. Almost every week, it seems, Glenview residents are doing something to help out their neighbors. But if I was just a casual observer of the Village, I may never have known that, because they almost never seek any kind of recognition. The act of helping is all they need. With your continued support, I believe there will be many more stories like these in the near future.
What do you like to do for fun when you're not working?
I (try to) play guitar, and hang out with my partner and pup.
What's one thing even your co-workers probably don't know about you?
My co-workers probably don't know how much I respect them and the work they do every day, because I don't tell them enough.
What is your perfect work lunch situation?
How are you riding out this COVID-19 pandemic?
The outbreak of the coronavirus has brought with it a lot of news, so much of my time has been dedicated to keeping readers as informed as possible. In between the news, I try to relax by playing guitar and some video games.
Anything else you want people to know?
I hope people will understand the value of a local newspaper during times like these. Our hyperlocal approach is unlike any other publications in the area. That approach allows us to produce news that you won't see anywhere else, like stories about how Glenview businesses and restaurants are coping with the abrupt downturn, how students at Glenview schools are adjusting to e-learning, and so much more. Without 22nd Century Media's publications, more than a dozen communities will miss out on vital information and be forced to find their local news buried in regional roundups or by themselves. Please consider subscribing to one of 22nd Century Media's 15 newspapers.