Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

May 8, 2014

VALLEY: The J-R is in dry dock, but the Waters are fine

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — People have an incorrect sense of entitlement about newspapers. They feel as though they are owed all the news there is to know at a mere pittance. Apparently, there’s a magic wand that dispenses all of that information on paper from a make-believe news-room where a revenue source is nonessential in making it happen.

Writing this column has been an epiphany. I never intended on doing such until that day in Mike’s office. But once I started, I realized how hard “real” newspaper people worked. And how little they are appreciated.

They are too often criticized by those who haven’t a clue – and recognized only by their peers.

Moving to Medina in the early ‘70’s, I started to get to know the J-R as a reader. And over those years, there were names that I associated as pillars of that publication.

People like:

Don Cook. Don’s award-winning nature photography was spectacular. His artistic sensibilities were equal to or better than anyone in the country. He was a winner in so many ways. His pieces were a respite from the often-dour news of the time.

Mike Wertman. Mike was/is a sports writer whose incredible volume of work is matched only by his quality of reporting. He and wife Cheryl live and breathe sports. His commitment was (and still is) the epitome of dedication. Hiring Mike Wertman was one of the wisest decisions the Journal ever made. He was a backbone of the J-R for decades.

There were plenty of other fine editors, reporters and staff who made the Journal what it was, too numerous to speak of.

But there is another I will mention: The estimable publisher emeritus, Mr. Robert E. Waters.

Bob is more than a second-generation premier newspaperman. He is a distinguished gentleman, a first-class human being and mentor to many. A superb communicator of both the written and verbal crafts and an altruistic volunteer whose philanthropic attitude, to better his beloved Medina, will resonate for eons. (A natty dresser, as well.)

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