It’s true – you never forget your first city editor.
Jim Sneddon, who is now city controller in York, Pa., provided a certain brash, young reporter with valuable guidance at the start of his career in 1984. I thought of Jim the other day at lunch when asked about newsroom leaders who have influenced me over the years.
What I recall prominently about Jim – aside from his wet sandwiches and late-night cigars – was his delight in being approached by reporters who had done some pre-reporting before pitching a story idea. With a gleam in his eye, Jim would engage the reporters in animated conversations about their proposed stories, dissecting the “news peg” pitched.
I was again reminded of Jim after reading a Poynter column penned by Tom Huang, Sunday and enterprise editor at The Dallas Morning News and an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. Huang breaks down the “six questions journalists should be able to answer” before pitching a story. It’s excellent reading for both reporters and editors.