The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

May 5, 2007

Guest column: Columnist’s assessment undeserved

By Jim Ellis

Globe guest columnist

I retired in 1998 after 43 rewarding years in the news department at The Joplin Globe. It was my good fortune to serve as editor and then editor emeritus during the last 17 years of my career.

My goal after retirement was pretty simple: Play as much golf as possible and stay out of the way so the fine new team at the paper could do its job with little or no input from me. My days of responsibility at the paper had ended.

It’s hard to remain silent, however, when someone comes along and besmirches the efforts of you and your former colleagues to make the Globe an award-winning publication.

That’s exactly what happened, though, when Ron Hutchison, a former editor at the paper, felt it necessary in a recent column (Globe, April 29) to slap the faces of his former colleagues with criticism of the news operation of 30 years ago.

I do not recall Ron’s reason for leaving the Globe and his career in journalism. Perhaps he wasn’t pleased with our paper or his associates. Maybe he just felt it was time to move on.

I do know this, however; Ron was wrong in his assessment of the Globe produced in the 1970s and earlier. A handful of staff members back then may have taken their responsibilities too lightly, but most were dedicated and proud of their daily effort to provide the best newspaper possible for their readers. Our writers, editors and photographers were as good as any in the business, and they proved it every day.

Ron forgot to mention in his column that the Globe won five first-place Missouri Press Association General Excellence awards during the 1980s and 1990s. That means our paper was judged to be the best in the state in its circulation category for five years.

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