They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I’m going to try anyway.
My name is David Trinko, and Saturday was my first day as editor of The Lima News.
I’m not exactly new to town, as I’ve been working at the paper 20 years over two different stints. I’ve been back since December 2004. Since the announcement was made that I’d be taking over for Jim Krumel when he retired Dec. 31, it’s been a joy to talk to so many people over the phone who I’d met once before while working for this newspaper.
It’s interesting how memorable that is for someone, the first time they meet and talk to a reporter. I always hope it’s a positive experience for people, meeting someone whose only real motivation is finding the truth and sharing some different perspectives along the way.
I have dreams and aspirations for what we’ll do at The Lima News while I’m at the helm. Most of them involve problems much bigger than we have in Lima, given a general distrust of journalists in our country.
There’s a belief we’re trying to brainwash you. I don’t think we have that much power. Maybe I’m naive, but I think you’re too smart to be brainwashed by what you read in the newspaper or online.
At our best, we can subject you to different points of view. Hearing what other people say who don’t agree with you can be the best way to find the truth. Sometimes it may help change your mind. More often, hearing the other side reminds you why you believe the way you do, and that’s OK.
It’s what we call “balance” in the newspaper industry. Sometimes we’ll tick off the liberals. Sometimes we’ll tick off the conservatives. Sometimes we’ll tick off the people in the middle. Honestly, as long as you’re giving the facts a fair shot, I’m OK with that.
All too often people assume there’s some ulterior motive to everything we do here. They see a vast conspiracy. The only thing we’re conspiring to do is to give you as much news and information as we can each day while living within our means and making our deadlines. That’s it — really. I’m a painfully straight-forward guy, as longtime readers of my weekly column already know.
There are plenty of people out there who want to convince you how you should feel or think about things. I’m just not that guy. I want you to think for yourself, gathering in whatever information helps you make up your mind.
This will be especially true on our Opinion pages. We’ll print some opinions that make you angry. Frankly, we’ll print some opinions that make me angry too. I respect our readers too much to make it a one-sided conversation, though. I hope you respect yourself too much to only listen to people who agree with you too.
There’s a lot of work to be done, as our business continues to evolve. I respect our history too much to do anything to hurt this paper, though. I appreciate that my column now prints near the bottom of the Region page, just like Mike Lackey’s column did before he retired. I remember working for Tom Mullen, who was publisher when they built our current building in the 1990s. I also appreciate that while I have 20 years of experience here, second only to Jim Naveau in longevity in our newsroom, there are also 118 years of published papers that I wasn’t here to see.
I’ve joked over the last 10 years as I worked on online initiatives that it was my job to make sure there was still The Lima News in 25 years. Now it’s no joke. It’s really my job to keep this place viable, necessary and part of your daily life.
That’s my goal, and I take it seriously. Most of all, I know this isn’t my newspaper to run. It’s the people of Lima’s and of the surrounding area. I hope I’ll do you all proud.