My short time at the Pioneer has been a great experience, but I have made the difficult decision to move on to the next chapter of my career. I’ll be leaving the paper—and journalism—on Friday, Nov. 17. I’ve accepted a position in marketing. This decision wasn’t made in haste and I will truly miss the working with the community of Bowman County through the Pioneer.
When I was given the role of editor of the Pioneer in April 2017, it signified a jump in my career. It’s a bigger circulation and the communities it serves are larger than ones I’ve been covered in the past.
Beginning my term as editor of the Pioneer was different than other publications I had worked for, because I had been a member of the community for nearly five years at the time of my hire.
I got nothing but support from the community of Bowman County, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’ve had some incredible experiences in my short time with the Pioneer.
I’ve also had my fair share or critics, which is to be expected in this line of work. I don’t dispel the criticism. Journalists need to be called out and critiqued to keep them honest, and to keep the truth on the pages. I hold no grudges towards those that disagreed with a stance I took, or an article with my name on it.
This job, with its supporters and detractors, has helped me grow professionally. And perhaps it’s helped me grow even more so personally. Being and editor/reporter has increased my self-confidence exponentially, which is something I can take with me no matter the path of my life takes me. You don’t know self-confidence until you go to your first city council meeting with flash photography!
But as much as I could do behind the scenes, it was the community that played a major role in letting me do my job. My calls were returned, appointments were kept, and my questions were answered…even when I was asking the hard ones.
I can say with 100 percent confidence that I always tried my best to deliver the best product to the communities every week.
Is there more I could have done?
Of course, and to this day there are things that have left me wondering ‘what if.’
I just want to thank everyone that helped me make the paper what it is today.
I leave you with this; as confidence in print journalism wanes, don’t forget your community newspaper. Buy a subscription, place that ad, and send in your photos—maybe even take a stab at writing something for the local paper?!?
A community newspaper is such an important part of rural America, and if it ever leaves, it’s unlikely to return.
So again, to the community of Bowman County…thanks for all the memories!
Cole Benz has served as an editor/reporter with Country Media since 2014. Publications he has worked with include The Herald, Adams County Record, and The Bowman County Pioneer.