A few weeks ago, I went to a Chinese restaurant in south Bossier for lunch. My fortune cookie read: “Now is a good time to explore.” Something in me said to snap a picture, and a few hours later, I found that very appropriate as I was offered an exciting, new position that would take me away from the place where I’ve spent more than 80% of my career.
Now, here I am on the edge of uncharted territory. It’s an unknown for my skills, my career, my future, and myself. My mind throws up all the different scenarios and plays up the fears of what could be waiting on me. Leaving the cocoon of the Bossier Press-Tribune is scary. But sometimes, the potential of an opportunity outweighs the risk of the unknown, and this is one of those times.
The good news is that I will get the chance to stay in the area. Bossier and Shreveport have been my home since 2008 and I view it as just that — my home. Having been a part of the Fourth Estate here, in Bossier especially, has only enriched my view of the area. Covering and directing coverage on new businesses, events, civic developments, infrastructure updates, and hearing the stories of locals made me feel like I had a a place in the fabric of northwest Louisiana.
I also made connections with local leaders and could speak frankly and honestly about their situation, as well as the situation within Bossier and Shreveport. It removed the “boogie man” lens we often see government through, and it showed me that more often than not we have real people here who truly care about this area, doing the best they can.
I know I will still see them around, but I will miss being able to make an inside joke with some of them at a ribbon cutting or groundbreaking. Specifically, I will miss the kindness and wisdom of Bill Altimus, the humor and wit of Mayor Lo Walker, talking college football with Dr. Rick Bateman, receiving gratitude from Sheriff Julian Whittington, people watching with Bill Davis, and all the many others who have touched my life in some way over these past 10 years.
I’m also very proud of what we accomplished here during my stint. I was in and out of running the BPT from the editor’s chair, but I was never truly out of it. Over my time as editor, we have successfully transitioned to focus on getting original, accurate, trustworthy news for Bossier online every day. In addition, we launched an emailed Daily Report and e-Edition. However, while digital is crucial to the future of our business, we also never lost focus that we have a wealth of people who still love to hold a paper in their hands.
One of my proudest achievements is navigating various changes in the design and production side of things to maintain a solid product every week, and working with our ad and design staff to tweak and/or launch our monthly specials so they can provide real value to our readers.
That said, undoubtedly my proudest achievement here is what I said before: original, accurate, trustworthy news for Bossier. There are many different avenues where you can get your news in this area. However, I am proud that we never caved to money, clicks, or outside pressure and maintained an unbiased view of “what news is” and viewed almost everything in a vacuum. In a world where opinion is becoming fact and social media warping perception, having a trusted, accurate source for important information about your life is crucial. I hope that you will continue to come to us for this.
On that note, I want to let our readers know that this MO won’t change, my exit will not create any sort of power vacuum. The paper is in good hands as Randy Brown is still publisher, just as he has been for the past six years. As for the editor role, the very same person who trained me and shaped me for that position, David Specht, will be assuming the role and his extensive knowledge of the newspaper industry and previous history as publisher of the BPT will make for a smooth transition. These two will ease my mind that there will be no gap in quality that you all expect from our news outlet.
As I look back, I want to take this chance to publicly thank those who have helped me get to where I am today. I know that any success I had wasn’t just down to me — I had a lot of support from our staff. This job is a daily challenge, but it would have been impossible without them. I also want to thank Randy as he has offered guidance, feedback, an open ear and a shoulder to lean on. His role at this paper, and in my life, led me to be where I am today. Perhaps no person shaped who I am as a professional more than David. His example showed me what a leader is, his effort and wisdom he poured into me over the years has shaped how I see the world around me, his belief in me led me to be a better person, and his friendship has enriched my life inside and outside this office. I owe all of you an incalculable debt, and I hope that I was able to at least match that effort part of the time, and that my work and effort here made your lives easier.
To our readers, thank you for continuing to pick up the BPT, or click on the website, and reading this. Thank you for reading everything else I’ve done in the past. I thank you for your support and I know that you will continue to support the BPT as I move to greener pastures. I can leave knowing that the BPT will continue to be an important part of Bossier.
Sean Green is the editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune