As the clock chimes a new day in I am reflecting on the past four years. That's the amount of time I have been as of today with Digital Journal. I was lucky enough to be 'grandfathered in' when the site changed from open membership for 'CJs" as we were called then. Just a few weeks would pass before the staff decided to make sure the writing was on par for the site. Those of us who had been with DJ waited to get the email that we were being allowed through without having to produce articles for consideration.
A lot has changed since that time, both in my personal life and in my writing ability. Today I focus on Toronto instead of the entire world. Being able to dedicate that focus I can work more effectively. I have since launched my own news site while still contributing to DJ.
I have seen some amazing things as I have written about this city from former President Bill Clinton speaking to getting a hug from Colin Mochrie this fall. I have rubbed elbows with some incredibly talented journalists that inspire me to always improve.
DJ has given me the chance to look closer at the world around me. I have been able to talk to the players in local politics and policing. Some I now consider to be friends.
I have learned how to fight for a story (something both Dave and Chris can attest to) and when to stop, think and redirect my focus. I have chased crime stories that didn't pan out and happened onto crime and fire scenes. I have learned the art of the interview process. Most importantly I have learned how to jump in and ask important questions.
I have also learned that there are times when as much as I want to some stories are not to be written. At times information overheard is more important to be handed over to the authorities than to write it up. When a crime story is not written because it didn't take place is a wonderful feeling.
I've learned that I can stand alone and not fall down. I have learned not to fear how others think of me and go for what I hold personally important.
For my own writers I have learned that backing up a journalist is a very important task of an editor. That listening to problems can be all that is needed.
So thank you Digital Journal for the lessons I have learned and the ones that I will learn in the future. It's been a blast.