It's been ten years now since I left the I-95 corridor of Central Jersey for what would be my first significant career decision: getting out of the New Jersey newspaper business. Ten years, three cities, and five-plus publications later, and I am struck at what fond memories I have for my first employer, The Home News (later to become the Home News Tribune, and now part of the Gannett empire.) The source of my warm feelings is Chuck Paolino, the best editor I've ever worked with. I've had many great editors, nimble with copy and sage with advice, but Chuck taught me valuable lessons about fairness and compassion and professionalism that go far beyond the newsroom. I have thought many times How would Chuck want me to handle this? while out reporting a story. Usually those words pop into my head as an adrenaline reflex when I'm seeing the worst side of human nature -- interviewing victims of a bus-bombing in Isreal a few years back, and a hostage crisis a few months later, are two episodes that come to mind.
Why this sudden bout of sentimentality? Because I just spotted today Chuck has a blog. If you were ever curious about what goes through the head of an assignment editor at a local paper: check out what he has to say. It's worldly and witty, compassionate, humorous and silly. Vintage Chuck.