The circle is complete: I'm back as a weeklies editor.
Some of you already know me well, especially from the days -- 2005 to 2008 -- that I was editor of The Montclarion and The Piedmonter, and I truly appreciate your well wishes.
I grew to absolutely love and to be passionate about community journalism. I loved interacting and meeting with the residents of Piedmont -- as well as the residents of Montclair, Rockridge, Broadway Terrace, Temescal, Glenview, the Laurel, Adams Point, Lakeshore, Piedmont Pines (not to be confused with the residents and businesses along Piedmont Avenue) and all of the other remarkable people, places and things making up a part of Oakland.
And I was the interim editor of the Alameda Journal for five months before the iconic veteran editor Connie Rux took over about five years ago. Connie raised the bar in journalism standards.
I love Alameda — it was my home for more than a dozen years during the 1980s and 1990s. This past week, when I returned to work, I realized how much I missed journalism. I'd tell people that I considered being editor of The Montclarion and The Piedmonter -- a community journalism editor -- was the best job in my career. And I've been a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Examiner (in the Hearst days) and the Fresno Bee.
I've returned to a media industry that's undergone massive, permanent change in these
Most of us -- and the jurors ranged in age from a college grad student to retirees -- got our news via smart phone, tablet or PC. But the changes and trends don't mean that there isn't a place for community journalism. There will always be a need for community journalism. It's just that there are much more media outlets, websites and blogs available to get the news.
I want to hear from you -- your story ideas, your thoughts on how we can do a better job and, yes, even the complaints and criticism. I encourage you to email me at email@example.com, call me at 510-748-1658 and to follow me on Twitter (@jonkawamoto) and to like the Facebook pages for the Alameda Journal, The Montclarion and The Piedmonter.
I'll end this with a short story: One of the jurors asked me what my dream job would be. "I had the dream job as editor of two weeklies," I told her. She replied: "Is there any chance of ... you know?" I told her: "No." She ended it our brief talk by wishing me well and telling me, "I hope you get that dream job."
When I see her again, I'll tell her: "You were right. I did get the dream job."
Jon Kawamoto is editor of the Alameda Journal, The Montclarion and The Piedmonter.