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This is a far cry from News Reporting 101

January 24, 2008 - Jim Bartholow
What would Prof. Ralph Izard think? My adviser at Ohio University, commonly known as RIZ (his initials), was a no-nonsense teacher, schooled in the nuts and bolts of solid journalism. A newspaperman tested by the crucible of deadlines and the constant gather of facts. Izard was my teacher for News Reporting 101 in the fall of 1969 at OU. It was my first class in my major. Out of embarrassment, I won't tell you my grade. I did pass, which was better than half the class. But, above all, it was an eye-opening experience.

RIZ insisted on accuracy; a misspelled proper noun on any assignment was an automatic 'F.' Assignments had to be done by the deadline, too. The rest of my time at OU was spent building on what I learned in that first class and working for the Athens Messenger. I began working at The Marietta Times two days after graduation day in 1972. I interviewed with Bill McKinney and Andy Elliott and felt comfortable here from the start. It's turned into a 35-year career, with more to come, if I'm lucky. Writing a blog seems like another journalistic eye-opener for me. It's something completely different from what I've done throughout my time, which includes covering police, courts, schools, city council, laying out pages and writing headlines. What to write about in this blog? After 35-plus years in Marietta I should be able to write something worth reading. But, then, you'll be the judge of that. I'm open to suggestions, but just to let you know my interests.

I'm a die-hard (very hard) Cleveland Indians fan. My wife, Leslie, and I raised two children (a boy and a girl) in Marietta because we thought it was a good place for families. I'm fascinated by Marietta's ever-changing face, wondering what's going in that former gas station/paper shop at Second and Scammel streets, for instance. I rubberneck out Pike Street to see if the work has started yet at Bar-B-Cutie, or if anyone is ever going to do anything with the old Bonanza building. The recently finished Marathon station on Pike was a never-ending source of curiosity (I thought for sure it would be open by Sternwheel Festival time). Fast forward to today and I'm a grandfather of three, with a fourth on the way. Leslie and I are enjoying being empty nesters.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Hmm, this blogging seems a lot like writing a column. Let me know what you think.




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