One change in the newsroom can often lead to a domino effect that lasts several months.
That has been the case since our Glens Falls reporter, Maury Thompson, retired in the fall.
It is not unusual for us to take a job opening as an opportunity to review how we do our jobs, what beats are most effective and how we can do them better.
Michael Goot, our education reporter, immediately took over the Glens Falls city beat after Thompson’s retirement and covered the fall election. Goot was already covering Lake George government and issues, but we knew he eventually had to relinquish the education beat.
Reporter Bill Toscano was the perfect fit there. Toscano is a former teacher and has covered just about everything in the community since joining our staff. He was just getting started on the education beat when he had to take a leave of absence. We’re not sure when Bill will be back. We hope soon.
In the meantime, we’ve asked Gretta Hochsprung, a part-time reporter who has handled most of our community reporting, and Callie Ginter, our newest addition to the staff, to fill in on the education beat.
Ginter was originally hired as a night general assignment reporter, with plans for her to take over Toscano’s role. She will continue in that general assignment role while helping out on the education beat.
The other change we made was to have Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli, our features reporter, handle the political beat that Thompson used to handle. She will be covering the political campaign in the 21st Congressional District this year.
And those are just the changes from one staff opening.
A new book
Over the summer, I heard from one of our former sportswriters who wanted permission to use some Post-Star material in a book he was writing.
You might be surprised to learn — I know I was — the topic was the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
Brett Orzechowski is now an assistant professor of journalism at Utica College and his book, “FOIL: The law and the future of public information in New York” is about to be published by Syracuse University Press. I noticed this week you can preorder it on the Barnes and Noble website.
I remember Orzechowski as being a great writer for us when he was here, so I suspect this will be a great read.
Letters to the editor
We published 1,129 letters to the editor in The Post-Star in 2017, which was a little off from 2016. That’s about 94 a month.
Despite all the ways readers can communicate their opinions these days, the letters section remains pretty strong, and I believe it continues to be one of the best-read parts of the newspaper.
We make every effort to get every letter submitted into the newspaper. We publish the vast majority of those submitted, as long as they stay under the 300-word limit and don’t libel anyone.