Join us for coffee and talk to Tammy, tooOnly a few days into her new job — as reporter for her first month, to get her feet wet — it was obvious that Tammy Francois had the right stuff to be editor of the News-Chronicle.
By: Robin Washington, Lake County News Chronicle
Only a few days into her new job — as reporter for her first month, to get her feet wet — it was obvious that Tammy Francois had the right stuff to be editor of the News-Chronicle. The night before the July 13 paper was put to bed, she sent me a list of stories she was working on.
Uh-oh, I thought; that’s too many — she’ll burn herself out, and I quickly sent a note saying just a couple would do. The next morning, all four articles were waiting and ready to go, including a column about Ina Backman’s blueberry pie (and the touching story behind it) that still makes me want a slice.
That’s the kind of writer, and person, your new editor is. Tammy brings a nontraditional background to journalism that makes her adept at hearing people’s stories and empathizing with them. She has spent many years working in social services, the kind that involves intense sensitivity. One buzzword for it is compassionate listening. Another is simply respect. Talk to her and you’ll see what I mean; she’s someone you want to tell your story to, and who you’ll trust to share it with your neighbors.
The easiest way to reach to do so is pick up the phone — 834-2141 (don’t I know that number by heart — back to the days when it was just “2141.”) I’ll guarantee she’ll give you the time of day: “Give me a piece of your mind,” she says. “I want to hear it.”
Better, come and meet Tammy in person (and chew the fat with all of us: reporters LaReesa and Sonja, advertising account executive Bernie Bischoff, front desk Jill-of-all-trades Shari Melton and myself) at our open house next Thursday, Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 109 Waterfront Drive. Many of you stop by anyway; Thursday morning is when we anxiously await the week’s edition, and regulars know they can get it hot off the press then. This time, we’ll spring for the coffee and pastries to go with it.
I can’t promise, but I’m hoping it includes blueberry pie. If not, definitely the talented editor who best tells the story behind it.
Robin Washington is supervising editor of the News-Chronicle.