August 16, 2017

A look back at my first year

Posted

As year-end approaches, the editorial staff is tasked with reflecting on the past year and recalling those moments that stick in our minds.

For me this was particularly thought-provoking. As of Dec. 1, I have been at the Herald and following in the footsteps of my father, Jerry Nunn, for one year.

As I dug through the archives to look back at the first 13 months of my career, one thing became blazingly obvious: I love my career and the communities I serve.

When I started at the paper, I foolishly believed I was only interested in writing feature stories. I had this vision that the best for me and for the community was to highlight the positives.

Sitting down with someone to interview for a feature story is a humbling experience. Early in my career I reported on someone facing surgery because of late-stage renal failure, two young children with leukemia and a young man in a wheelchair who was trapped inside his home because he lacked an adequate ramp. All three had a positive outcome, but these are emotionally draining to write, with stories hitting so close to home and pulling on heart strings you might not know you had.

The moments that hit hardest are when you sit down with someone who recently lost a loved one. I would like to think it’s a healing process for them. It is hard to hold back tears when you’re sitting listening as family members reminisce about someone’s life and as they deal with the grief they are feeling.

When I moved into the world of news, it began with covering bored … board meetings. Indeed, board meetings can be quite boring, but these involve the behind-the-scenes decision-makers in our communities, and their conduct, whether good or bad, is essential news in the community.

Initially, covering accidents was interesting until I hit a brick wall with the tree-trimmer fatality. I blindly walked into the fatality expecting a standard traffic accident. The emotions from the on-lookers was a punch in the gut to me. Suddenly I was so small in the world. After the story went live there was a flurry of comments online debating my presence at the scene. I felt extremely fortunate that people came to my aid supporting my reporting on the accident.

Little more brightens my day than the nice comments, messages and cards I receive from people in the community whose lives I strive to make better through my writing.

Since taking my desk at the Herald I have formed more friendships and met so many wonderful people in the community, and it has only been a year. I cannot imagine what it will be like after many more.

As we begin a new year, I know many who are not as fortunate as I. However, it is with the sincerest words that I thank each and every person who reads our paper, interacts with us online and says hello when we are out and about in the communities. I also owe a debt of gratitude to my co-workers at the Herald for giving me the chance to do what I do. It is very emotional to follow in the footsteps of the person I looked up to the most and miss daily.

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