Goodbye to the J-T newsroom

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I am writing this on the morning of my last day at the Journal-Tribune, which my co-workers will no doubt find funny. Right up to the end, I’ve always procrastinated with my columns.
There are a lot of things people always write in these sorts of farewell pieces, and they all hold true with me. I’m grateful for a lot of things that have happened with me in the four years I’ve worked here.
I’m grateful that I was able to get a job in my chosen career right out of college. I’m grateful for the interesting people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve written. Mostly, though, I’m grateful for my co-workers.
All of my co-workers have been delightful to work with, but in particular have left an impression on me.
My fellow reporter, Mac Cordell, is one of the most interesting people I’ve met in my life. I was raised in a Christian household, but now count myself among the “non-believers.” Mac, though, is one of the best examples of someone who is devoutly Christian and not a hypocrite about it.
Part of what put me off of religion is how, growing up, I was surrounded by people who performed their faith, rather than truly adhering to it. Anyone who’s gone to church and has half a brain cell knows that churches can be some of the pettiest places in the world. Churches can do a lot of good, but also sow a lot of distrust.
Mac knows that faith isn’t performative, it’s something you need to believe and live by. He knows that God would rather have a foul-mouthed guy who helps the needy and genuinely strives to do good. He’s not interested in a stick-in-the-mud who might go to church every Sunday, but turns away the homeless because they’re “dirty.”
Working with someone like that has been refreshing.
My editor, Chad Williamson, is the kind of person who’s secretly the funniest guy in the room. He’s quiet a lot of the time, but when the timing is just right, he’ll crack a joke or comeback like he’d written it beforehand.
He’s one of the first people I’ve met in the wild who is interested in stand-up comedy. Bringing up a comedian with him would sometimes turn into broader conversations about comedy.
And as strange as this sounds, I’ve always appreciated Chad’s ability at making decisions. It’s nice to have somebody that always seems on top of things. Decades of experience have given Chad that. The Journal-Tribune has always felt like a stable ship during my time here, and that’s partly because of him.
And his reactions when I make a bad joke or quip were always enough to make me laugh.
All of the people I work with at the paper are fantastic, and I’m happy to have been part of this company. The best workplaces help develop you, and I truly think this place has made me a better person.
-Will Channell was a reporter at the Journal-Tribune.



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