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My First Job ...

Bennie Ivory, executive editor, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.

Bennie Ivory

My first job was at the Hot Springs, Ark., Sentinel-Record in 1969. I went to work there just a few weeks after high-school graduation and stayed there for 10 years in various jobs, including general-assignment reporter, sports writer and sports editor, court reporter and city and county-government reporter. During that time, I commuted 72 miles a day to college in Arkadelphia, Ark., and worked 40 hours a week at night at the newspaper. The biggest impact in my first year was not a story but the fact that this newspaper took a chance on me. I like to call it a calculated risk. The newspaper was looking for an African- American reporter. I found out about it at a local job agency and was encouraged to apply. My only qualifications: I was African American, I could type, I was a better than average English student and I was a good writer. That introduced me to the need for diversity in our newsrooms. It taught me that you need to give people the opportunity to succeed and that sometimes taking a risk isn't a risk at all. It's about doing the right thing.


My First Job archive

Ronnie Agnew, executive editor, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.

Caesar Andrews, editor, Gannett News Service, Washington, D.C.

George Benge, news executive, Gannett Co., Inc.

Peter Bhatia, executive editor, The Oregonian, Portland

Michael Chihak, publisher and editor, Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen

Bill Church, executive editor, Star-Gazette, Elmira, N.Y.

Don Flores, executive vice president and editor, El Paso (Texas) Times

Karla Garrett Harshaw, editor, Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun, and senior editor, Cox Community Newspapers

Bennie Ivory, executive editor, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.

Sherrie Marshall, executive editor, The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph

E.J. Mitchell, managing editor, The Detroit News

Ricardo Pimentel, columnist, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix

Africa Price, managing editor, The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun

John Quinn, senior advisory trustee, Freedom Forum

Mark Russell, assistant managing editor, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

Last updated: Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 | 02:29:33
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