Saturday, July 09, 2011

Parting with Patch

The original editor of Columbia Patch has departed with the online community news site. David Greisman, who in less than a year became a very familiar HoCo loco face, resigned last week.

I got to know David during his brief run with Patch and he asked if I’d put his parting message on Tales of Two Cities. As he put it “I just figured I'd say a goodbye in lieu of writing one on the Patch website itself.”

I’m more than happy to oblige a fellow HoCo chronicler.

David’s Patch Parting Message

“As Tom referenced earlier this week, I’m no longer with Columbia Patch, the local news website I’d headed since August 2010 and launched in October; my last day was July 5. In the days before and after, I’ve reflected on the value of these past months – not just with the company, but with the community, too.

Like many who grew up in Columbia, I wanted to spend some time away from my hometown. And I did, spending two years finishing my education in Carroll County, then going much, much farther away, cutting my teeth as a news reporter for three years in a somewhat quiet corner of New Hampshire.

I arrived back in Columbia in July 2010. I didn’t have a job. And I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to work in journalism anymore. 

I fell back in love with Columbia. Because of that, I truly loved the work I did as a journalist here.

I’ve been fortunate to be part of an exciting, challenging venture, becoming part of this rich mosaic of information here in Howard County, from the quality coverage from The Baltimore Sun and the Columbia Flier/Howard County Times, to the many dedicated bloggers whose voices add so much, to my colleagues at Patch and the valuable work they’ve put in.

I sought to write both the stories that nobody knew about that deserved to be told and the stories that everybody knew about that deserved to be told right. I was able to work with professional freelancers who gave more depth to the local news coverage. I took special joy in mentoring some younger writers, in particular a crew of eager sports reporters who never minded spending the extra time.

There is a lot that goes into being a local editor for Patch. The company had initially recruited me for Westminster, where I went to college and where I had interned and freelanced for The Baltimore Sun. I held out for Columbia.

My hometown is where I had more insight into what stories needed to be told and why. My hometown is where I could see on a friend’s Facebook status that Michael’s Pub was closing, and where I would immediately know how much that story would resonate with readers.

I loved what I did here until the very end. So why did I leave? Because I was no longer the right fit for Patch’s direction.

It was a difficult decision, and I felt such heartbreak in making it. So many of you in this community have supported me, whether it was through your coming to the website, sending out links to articles we’d written, telling others about Patch, contacting us with story ideas, or even just saying hello when you saw me around town.

I didn’t want to let you down by leaving. But I am wholly confident that whomever ends up replacing me (the competent, friendly assistant editor and Columbia resident Lisa Rossi is temporarily filling in) will work hard to pick up where I left off.

I’ll still be rooting for Patch, just as I do for the newspapers, blogs and others whose work makes this community a better one.

And I’m still looking to be involved with Columbia and Howard County. I left Patch in the same way I left New Hampshire, giving myself time to hunt for jobs and figure out what the next step should be.

I arrived back in Columbia in July 2010 not sure what I’d end up doing and where I’d end up living.

I’m confident now that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
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