Editorial Files Q and A (Jan. 27 – Feb. 2)

 

Darrin Clark

Name: Darrin Clark

What is the most interesting object on your desk right now? A hockey puck from a Grand Rapids Owls game in 1980.

What is one of your pet peeves during an interview for a story? Never really had any. Getting interviewed is a vulnerable position and the subject is putting their trust in you to fairly represent their words. I think we need to give all the leeway we can when people formulate their answers or tell their stories.

In the works:
• Every day planning and producing of The Daily News
• Working on writing up some goals for the staff for 2014
• Attending the annual Michigan Press Association convention and Jan. 31 and Feb. 1

Reality Check | Mike Taylor

Name: Mike  Taylor

What is the most interesting object on your desk right now? My Galaxy S3 phone, which — following a recent mandatory firmware update — suddenly died utterly, two days after the warranty expired. It’s interesting because this will be the basis for my insanity defense in my upcoming trial once the police figure out it was me who threw the brick through the window of the cell phone store.

What is one of your pet peeves during an interview for a story? I hate it when the subject assumes I am “out to get him.” This is a community newspaper; all I want to do is get the interview, write up the story and file the thing. As Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am.” I have no agenda other than getting the job done as accurately and efficiently as possible.

In the works:
• Working on story on local people who made a large donation to a trail system in another state (Daily News, Jan. 29)
• Covering Stanton’s City Council meeting (Daily News, Jan. 29)
• Putting together photo package on bed and breakfast being relocated in Lakeview (Daily News, Jan. 29)

Ryan Schlehuber

Name: Ryan Schlehuber

What is the most interesting object on your desk right now? Oh man, there is so many to choose from. I’d have to say my tiny writer figurines — Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, William Shakespeare and James Joyce. Although my Travelocity gnome is pretty popular since I find him hidden around the office a lot.

What is one of your pet peeves during an interview for a story? I think the biggest one for me is when they demand to see the story before it’s written. Especially when it’s not even a controversial piece. Sometimes election stories are the worst for this, although I understand who we interview may have a lot of stock invested in what we write.

In the works:
• Writing a story on a 7-year-old Belding BMX racer who is headed to nationals (Revved Up, The Daily News, Feb. 1)
• Working on getting more reviews in our entertainment website Free Time (dnfreetime.com)
• Seeking information, photographs on the Phelps Hotel for a story. Call (616) 548-8279 or email scoop@staffordgroup.com
• Office chili cook-off is this Friday so I’ll be tearing up the kitchen looking for anything interesting to put in my batch of chili this week!
• Working on an African recipe for a book review for Free Time

Elisabeth Waldon

Name: Elisabeth Waldon

What is the most interesting object on your desk right now? Probably a blue plastic hippo “piggy bank” I received from a credit union as part of a mail promotion. I use it to keep spare change for vending machine emergencies. I also have a plastic sand timer I received through another mail promotion, which I flip over and use when one of my colleagues starts to get long-winded (I won’t name any names …).

What is one of your pet peeves during an interview for a story? When I call someone, introduce myself as a reporter, tell them I have a few questions for a story I’m working on, proceed to interview them, then, as we’re wrapping up the interview, they say, “By the way, this was all off the record.” Yeah … no.

In the works:
• Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27. Should be an interesting meeting, due to a public hearing about the Montcalm Alliance’s proposed millage, a vote on the proposed merger of the Howard City Police Department with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department, and more
• Trying to catch up on a few ongoing civil lawsuits involving local municipalities.
• Archiving old stories and planning the story budget for February

Cory Smith

Name: Cory Smith

What is the most interesting object on your desk right now? I received a “quote box” as a Christmas gift from my sister and brother-in-law. It’s painted bronze, has a mini sculpture of a stack of pens at the top, and has an inscribed quote by Ernest Hemingway: “The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.”

What is one of your pet peeves during an interview for a story? The dreaded “one-word” answers … I do my best to phrase my questions in a way to avoid this, but especially with young children, it’s sometimes impossible to overcome.

In the works:
• Legislative update, noon, Jan 27, MCC
• Montcalm County Board of Commissioners, 1:30 p.m., Jan 27, Administration Building, Stanton

Curtis Wildfong

Name: Curtis Wildfong

What is the most interesting object on your desk right now? I haven’t really had much time to start bringing in any sports merchandise or really anything else. The only thing of any value on my desk are some pictures of my daughter, Elliana, and my wife, Sasha.

What is one of your pet peeves during an interview for a story? The biggest thing for me has to be “I’m not very good with words, but you can work the quote so I sound good.” Actually, no I can’t. Quotes are your words, not mine. The funny thing is it is always the person who says that who gives me the flawless, and completely spot-on topic.

In the works:
• A story on the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District’s food bag program for children in need
• Previewing a career fair at West Michigan Virtual Academy
• Prepping my winning chili recipe for the work cook-off

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