March 22, 2009

Ann Arbor News editor Petykiewicz to retire

The Ann Arbor News, another Advance Publication, followed up the short announcement on its editor's pending retirement with a longer article today. It's a run through of Ed Petykiewicz career at the various Newhouse Advance Publications, including a stint at the Washington Bureau that gave him insight to the company he has worked for:
"In Washington, which is a mecca for journalists, I realized the way I was treated and the way other reporters were treated was drastically different."
(It's an experience that most won't be able to repeat. The bureau closed in November as have Washington Bureaus for Copley Newspaper, Des Moines, Hartford, Houston, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Toledo. The Cox chain, publisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Austin American-Statesman and fifteen other papers, will padlock its DC bureau on April 1.)

Petykiewicz remains optimistic about the future of journalism:

"People ask, will journalism survive and I think it will survive. The way stories are told will be different and the way they are delivered will be different. But it's the journalists who have fairness and objectivity who will be sought out online. ... I believe we are on a short timeline for the printed newspaper."
His advice for people just entering the field of journalism:
"If you are going to do it, make sure you are well (educated) on the technical side as well as the journalism side. ... If you are not resilient, go somewhere else."
Perhaps most telling is the response to the challenges he faced as an editor:
"The hardest, toughest part of my career, the toughest thing I ever had to do, was the three days when I had to sit down with everyone in the newsroom and talk to them about the buyout. It was draining for me. It was unbelievably hard."
And though the man who first went to school thinking he'd become a lawyer says he's retiring now to avoid making the mistake his father did - "I'm not someone who wants to die in the saddle." - don't you wonder how much the current situation played into that decision.

Related articles:
Flint Journal Editor Tony Dearing joining Advance Internet


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