Sarah Stultz: It’s more than simply a job — it’s a passion

Published 8:02 pm Monday, September 4, 2017

Nose for News, By Sarah Stultz

Albert Lea and Freeborn County have had their share of natural disasters since I moved to the city 11 years ago, but none as severe as what I’m seeing play out in the Houston area.

Though we have seen widespread devastation with the June 17, 2010, tornadoes and ongoing flooding in both the springtime  and fall in several years, I cannot imagine what is playing out in the southern part of our country.

Email newsletter signup

I have watched and read numerous articles in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. I know less than a handful of people personally in the state of Texas itself, but I have been touched to see the articles of unity and of heroes who have emerged to help their fellow neighbors.

The staff at the Albert Lea Tribune have begun to hear personal stories of how the hurricane and the subsequent rain that came with it have impacted two of our own sister newspapers in Texas — owned by our parent company, Boone Newspapers.

One of our company leaders launched a GoFundMe page on Friday to raise money for the employees of both The Port Arthur News and The Orange Leader. The page states no staff member was spared personal property damage.

After I read that, I then took a moment and looked at the websites for both of these newspapers. Amidst their own tragedies and losses, these reporters and editors at these two newspapers had been regularly updating their websites, highlighting important issues for their communities.

I was impressed to be a part of a company and an industry with such strong dedication toward serving their communities.

Over my years as a journalist, I have had many people ask me what it’s like to do my job. While, yes, sometimes it may appear to be glamorous getting to meet dignitaries or being the first to know breaking news,  it is also a 24/7 job. Whether you want to or not, being a journalist isn’t something you can only do from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m during normal business hours. Your ears are constantly open and sometimes you get called in on your day off.

Though being a journalist sometimes has its challenges, then I think about the satisfaction I get from doing this job — all the people I get to meet, the lessons I learn and the knowledge I can share with the community. For me, all of that outweighs the challenges.

I’m proud to be a part of an industry of such passionate people who care about their communities, and I look forward to being a part of it for many years to come.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.