The press hall where Peace Arch News is printed. (Harv Toews photo)

COLUMN: A place of privilege, pride and a tinge of pain

PAN editor Lance Peverley reflects on the 12 years since his last job interview

You go to most job interviews and… trust me… your ‘five-year plan’ is bound to come up.

As in: Where do you see yourself in five years?

At my last job interview, a while back, Linda cut to the chase: How long did I see myself serving as Peace Arch News’ editor?

I didn’t know. Three years? Six? Maybe only a month or two, if things went south.

“Who knows,” I joked, “maybe a decade!” (Oh, how we laughed).

I honestly had no idea. And I think it was this candor that earned a second interview, then a third – with the head of Black Press, no less.

(Three interviews! Perhaps I should’ve guessed then that I was a courtesy interview – cause for more laughter later, when Linda shared this tidbit – and that I wasn’t initially anybody’s first, or even second, choice.)

Those interviews were conducted back in 2007, after the winter break, and I don’t think anybody up or down the chain of command would have predicted I’d still be here a dozen years later.

A lot has happened since. There’s been the good (personal friendships, professional awards), the bad (the evolution of journalism and the waning of attention spans); and the tragic (publisher Linda was only one of many kindhearted souls whom we’ve lost too soon along the way).

However, as I prepare to say goodbye to my remaining work friends – at the end of today (Friday), after sending next week’s early Christmas edition to press – I wanted to reflect on the pride of being part of a team welcomed, since long before my arrival, into this community and a business success story in its own rite.

Regrettably, there’s not enough space in our print edition for all my words… to highlight those co-workers present – and past – who have made me a better person; to thank those community members who have helped us create an informative, entertaining newspaper; to honour the subjects of articles, who have shared experiences and/or world views that have impacted me deeply.

I hope this suffices.

I also hope it is recognized that those who will continue to report on our communities pay a personal price for dealing with issues of humanity day in and day out. There are two things I will not miss: the unceasing (until tonight) deadlines, and, to a far greater degree, having to wade into the conflicts that dominate the most ‘clicked-upon’ news.

Yes, I’m looking forward to a bit of down time.

Before I sign off this one final column and step into an uncharted career path, know that it’s been my privilege to serve as PAN’s editor these past 12 years.

When I first interviewed for the position, I likened it to a stewardship that propagates open conversation involving voices from across the spectrum. Unlike jobs that are accountable solely to an individual or board, I have always felt that I report to you, the reader, as I put myself out there, asking for your trust.

I hope all but the most partisan will feel I earned it.

Lance Peverley is serving his final day as the editor of Peace Arch News.

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