Editorial: So long… and thanks for all the fish wrap

It occurred to me that in the almost six months I’ve worked as Editor of The Reporter, I’d yet to write an editorial of any kind. My personal preference would be never to write one, as I feel an editor should keep their bias and opinions to an absolute minimum.

The job comes with power and responsibility that I take seriously. It’s heavy work deciding which stories make it into the paper and which don’t. Sadly, the paper can only have so many pages. It’s a zero-sum game; everything that makes it in comes at the expense of something else—and there are plenty of stories worth telling, more than I or anyone could ever truly do justice.

As an editor and journalist, I’ve never felt like it’s my role to tell anyone how to think—only to report the facts as I could best assemble them and let the readers come to their own conclusions. I hope you think I’ve done that reasonably well. I’ve tried my best to be engaging and accurate—but also to be generous. 

And yet, I’ve always known the time would come when, for whatever reason, I’d have to write an editorial. I never saw it coming that my first would also be my last, but here I am writing to tell you that last week was my final week as editor of The Reporter.

Given everything I’ve just written, perhaps you’ll agree with me that there’s both irony and poetry in my eschewing the writing of an editorial until the very last moment—even just a little beyond. This job has never been about me. 

Still, for my last few moments, perhaps you’ll humor me as I center in on myself—perhaps, too, you’ll allow me some of the grace that I wrote about in the story of Rev. Jenei Rossigg as I slip out the door.

I’ve learned a ton in my time here, and my experiences have been predominantly positive ones. I’ve been enriched with the knowledge and experience that comes with taking a hard (and sometimes lighthearted) look at parts of the world that I might otherwise never have seen. 

As a relative newcomer to the area, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to make connections in Rutland and Addison County that might have otherwise taken me years to accomplish. By and large, the community has been welcoming and kind to my family and me, and we’re grateful for that. There is much to love and admire about this place.

I’m sure many would like to know why I’m leaving and what will happen next, both for me and—more importantly—for the paper. In keeping with the theme outlined above, I’ll start with the last before I get to the first. 

In the short term, Angelo Lynn will resume his previous role as editor. I won’t write about what may happen after that—although you can read all about it in today’s paper starting on Page 1. It’s an ongoing process—one that will involve an even larger transfer of power than simple editorial duties—but one that I think is in the best interest of the long-term health of The Reporter and local independent news. Ultimately, it’s no longer my news to break. 

As for me, I’m stepping away to find more time to focus on the writing that I’m most passionate about. This isn’t to say I’m not passionate about the community here—quite the opposite. But I’m a poet and a storyteller. I was never trained as a journalist. My best writing probably has a home someplace else, although I do hope to continue to find ways to engage with the community where I will continue to live—it’s just that engagement and those stories will live on in other, as yet undetermined pages.

Again, the paper isn’t about me. It was here long before me and hopefully will be long after I’m gone. I won’t be an employee by the time you finish reading this, but I will still be a subscriber as long as I live in Brandon—something that won’t change anytime soon.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting the future of the paper—whatever it may look like. 

Mat Clouser


Share this story:
Back to Top