Smith: A fond farewell from a Summit Daily News stalwart (column)
When I first walked into the Summit Daily office in October of 2012, I had no idea how big a part of my life this job, this community, this location would become. I was relatively fresh off the plane from Shanghai, the weight of four years living in a city of over 20 million people still on my shoulders. But every day I walked through those doors at the Daily — both the original and the current buildings — along picturesque Main Street, under the shadow of Mount Royal, through the brisk mountain air, that tension lessened.
I dove into community journalism and instantly found it refreshing and fascinating. A newcomer myself, I interviewed people who were drawn to Summit County in a way that was almost palpable — business owners who had saved their entire lives to finally set up shop here, athletes and artists who felt the call of the mountains and left careers and possessions behind, and locals, who have gazed on these peaks for years, still soaking in their surroundings with an unending appreciation. They all spoke with a passion and conviction that drew me in.
I have been fortunate enough to travel to many beautiful and desirous locations around the world, but Summit stands out.
I have told many people since I started that I love my job, and every time it has been true. I have learned so much, both from my colleagues and from the people I’ve interviewed and interacted with.
A small community newspaper is a fascinating place to work. For one, you learn about deadlines — fast. You learn to focus on what’s important, to cut away excess and streamline your words. You learn who to talk to, and when. You learn the ins and outs of local events, moving with the rhythm of the seasons, the ebb and flow of a tourist town at 9,000+ feet.
And through it all, my colleagues have been my main source of support and inspiration. These are people who are passionate about creativity, about coverage, about community. They are a positive, refreshing force in this world.
Plus, they’re fun to get a beer with.
Summit has been my home for over five years, the memories of which I will cherish.
And though I don’t know exactly where I’m going — currently, the West Coast is calling — I most certainly won’t forget where I have been. I thank you all for the lessons learned, and look ahead to the challenges yet to come.
Jessica Smith was the assistant editor of the Summit Daily News.
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