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.
He also failed to tell about the numerous other editing, writing and photography awards our fine staff won during that period in various regional, state and national competitions.
Ottaway Newspapers, a subsidiary of Dow Jones Inc., acquired the Globe in 1976. During the ensuing decade or so, virtually every member of the news staff participated in individual or group training programs designed to help them achieve their career goals. The result was reflected in the excellent news package they produced every day for Joplin and area readers.
I applaud Ron for his observations about the “new” team at the Globe and its efforts to produce a top-notch daily paper. I, too, see many awards in the future. I’m sure some will be going to staffers still around from the “old days.”
It is unfortunate Ron chose to tarnish the efforts of many good people in the news department to make his point. All were and are professionals, and, in my view, he owes them an apology.
Jim Ellis is the former editor and editor emeritus of The Joplin Globe.
By Jim Ellis
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