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What we do, why we do it

September 09, 2000|By JOHN LEAGUE

What we do, why we do it



This column is the first in what will be a weekly feature in Sunday's Herald-Mail.

A number of editors at the newspaper will share this space each week as we explain to you what we do and why we do it.

What we do is simple. The Morning Herald, The Daily Mail and the weekend Herald-Mail newspapers are in business to publish news and information about Hagerstown, Washington County and the surrounding Tri-State area.

That's pretty simple.

Sometimes, though, we in the newspaper business make it complicated. When readers call us about news questions, they often don't know who does what.

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My hope is that this space is used each week to provide you with a little more understanding of what we do and how we do it.

The Herald-Mail Co. publishes The Morning Herald, The Daily Mail and the weekend Herald-Mail.

We are the only newspapers that provide daily, comprehensive coverage of Washington County. And the only newspaper that commits to daily regional coverage of our area with the Tri-State section in The Morning Herald. Tri-State to us means news that happens in Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania; Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia; and Frederick County in Maryland.

I am editor and publisher. As such, I am responsible for everything that appears in the paper each day. News and advertising. The buck stops here.

In reality, the responsibility is shared, and I have little day-to-day contact with the newsroom. Most days, I find out what happens when you do - when I read about it in The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail.

Gloria George is the executive editor. She is responsible for all of the news, sports and feature stories that appear in both papers. She oversees a news operation of more than 50 people. She is ultimately responsible for the news content in The Morning Herald, The Daily Mail and the weekend Herald-Mail newspapers.

Bob Maginnis is editor of the editorial page. He is responsible for the opinion pages in the daily and weekend section. Bob is the person who formulates the newspaper's position on local issues. He writes editorials, edits the columnists such as David Broder and Charlie Reese, and edits the letters to the editor. Bob is assisted by Tim Rowland, who also writes a column.

Gloria relies on a number of editors who help her coordinate coverage. Each has different areas of responsibility.

Tony Mulieri is managing editor of The Daily Mail. Tony handles most of the reader-generated information that appears in the Mail, and also is the person responsible for making sure the afternoon paper meets its deadlines.

His counterpart on the Herald is Linda Duffield. It's interesting that these two people hold similar jobs but rarely see one another. Tony's day starts about 5:30 in the morning, while Linda's day ends between 1 and 2 a.m. each night.

Our city editor, Terry Headlee, oversees the reporters who cover news events in Hagerstown and Washington County. The Tri-State editor, Chuck Mason, coordinates coverage among our Tri-State staff, reporters based in four bureaus in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Dick Fleming is weekend editor. He oversees the Sunday paper. Lisa Prejean is editor of Lifestyle, our feature section. She also coordinates much of the community event and calendar listings that appear in our newspapers.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Morning Herald and weekend Herald-Mail. Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. Each is responsible for all of the local and regional sports news that appears in their respective newspapers.

In the coming weeks, many of the editors mentioned here will be sharing with you what they do and how they do it.

They may write about the nuts and bolts of their jobs, or try to explain how we cover a difficult local issue.

I recognize that many readers could care less about how we do our jobs. You want to read about the news, not about us. Good for you!

But there is also a group of readers who call to query us about how we covered (or didn't cover) an issue or event. Or why, for example, a news reporter writes one type of story, and Tim Rowland another.

Maybe we'll shed some light on some of your questions, and make your newspaper a little easier to understand every day.

If you have questions or comments, or a suggestion for a column in this space, I can be reached at 301-733-5131 in Maryland, 1-800-626-6397 outside of Washington County, or by e-mail at jleague@herald-mail.com.

Until next time

John League is editor and publisher of The Herald-Mail newspapers

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