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It’s time to stop watching the clock

By Staff | Sep 24, 2010

After fifteen years, some 700 issues and too many stories to recount my tenure at the Pierce County Tribune has come to an end.

Little did I know when I accepted a position at The Tribune in 1995 from the late publisher Mark Carlson that Rugby would be my home for so long.

As with most young journalists fresh out of college, The Tribune was going to be a temporary stop on my way to bigger and better things in the world of print journalism.

I would get a year or two of experience under my belt and then move on, so I thought. But a funny thing happened on the way to The Tribune one morning. I realized that being an editor of a weekly newspaper offered too much to pass up.

The opportunity to not only report on a variety of stories, but also develop other necessary skills to publish a quality newspaper, including taking photos, designing and paginating pages and managing a staff. Skills that I may not have acquired if my stay in Rugby was brief.

Of course, with those skills came many challenges. Come hell or high water, a newspaper had to be ready to print by Thursday evening.

I had my share of long nights at The Tribune and a few sleepless ones wondering just how I was going to fill all those pages.

Some people often asked, “how in the world do you do it every week?”

Sometimes I asked myself that very question. However as demanding as this job was it afforded me the opportunity to meet many interesting people, cover diverse subjects and take me to unique places.

I could be interviewing a U.S. Senator in the morning; riding with a farmer in a combine in the afternoon; and taking a photo at a youth baseball game in the evening. Indeed, there was plenty of variety.

Deadlines define the newspaper business and I often said to my wife, Sonia, “much of my time is spent watching the clock,” and I did that for 15 years.

The immediate future, anyway, won’t include such defined deadlines for me and I’ll be reading newspapers rather than writing for one.

Thanks to all those who have wished me and my family well as we move on to new careers and lives in Bismarck.

Rugby will remain a special place in our hearts.

And once more, thanks for your support.

Mullally is the former Tribune editor

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