David Trinko: Goodbye from a longtime journalist

Way back in the fourth grade, I started working at my first newspaper.

I’d created the Fourth Grade Journal, a four-page weekly publication printed fresh off our family’s dot matrix printer. Over time, I changed its name to the Arlington Journal and had more than 100 paying subscribers at the end of its five-year run.

As soon as I started reporting, I fell in love with telling other people’s stories. I wanted to share the truth of everyday people and clarify people’s misunderstandings.

It’s all I ever wanted to do with my life.

That’s what makes today’s column harder to write than most. I have to admit to you that I just can’t do it anymore.

I’ve resigned as editor of The Lima News, effective July 7. I’ve taken a job outside of journalism after a quarter-century working at four newspapers, with the bulk of that time spent here in Lima over two stints.

This is my last column, ending a run that started back in June 2006. That’s 17 years of my observations documented here, telling you stories I found interesting and thought you might too. Even when I shared stories about my experiences raising children, I tried to find those universal truths in our common stories.

I still have my health. I still have my loving family. I still have another 20 years before I plan to retire.

I’ve just lost the energy it takes to try to do what we’ve always done here at The Lima News.

I remember the glory days of the late 1990s, back when I covered the Cleveland Browns for our sports department here and marveled at the work done by our news staff. I led our news reporters 15 years ago, when we had 12 full-time reporters documenting what happened and saw the internet really take off.

Economics made it harder. Now we have three full-time reporters. Our editor ranks shrank too. I fought like crazy to try to keep the quality at a level I thought you deserved.

You expect more of us while we have less to work with. You deserve constant updates on LimaOhio.com. I worked 60 hours a week trying to give Lima and the surrounding area a newspaper and website you could appreciate.

Now I’m drained. I gave you everything I had, and I know it wasn’t enough. I hope someone else has a magic touch that I must not possess.

I’ve always thought the most important thing we could provide was perspective. Our 9-year-old daughter put everything in perspective for me with a hand-drawn Father’s Day card: “Even though you have to work all the time, I still love you.”

That’s how I wish our readers would feel about the team at The Lima News. The staff members work as hard as they can against obstacles they can’t control. They want to do good work that our community can be proud of, and I know they’re capable of it.

I wish people were nicer to us when they criticized our work. Then again, I’m glad you aren’t since it shows you still want, need and expect journalists to be above reproach. An attitude of “good enough” is never good enough. As I’ve repeated countless times at work and at home, anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Now it’s time for me to apply that belief into something different and new. It’s exciting, and it’s terrifying.

I thank you for the trust you’ve put in me over the years to tell you the truth.


See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.