Tools of the (Journalist’s) Trade

I once heard it said that having a decent set of tools — and knowing what to do with them — is a surefire way to get any job done.

I thought of that advice, albeit with a twist, when I assumed the editor’s post with this issue of 24×7.

The tools I bring to this position — and know how to use — are those of a journalist: I observe people and events. I listen to what readers want, and I understand how to put that into a form and style they want to read. Journalists prove to be quick studies who can explain scientific, technical and other aspects in a story-telling style. And isn’t that, after all, what 24×7 does? Tells stories about you and the situations affecting your work?

But let me assure you that 24×7 and I are not strangers.

As associate editor the last two years, I’ve written articles for the magazine — electrical safety analyzers, trace gas, ISO 9000 registration, hybrid vehicles and fleet driver training, for example — and I was fortunate enough to have written those features under the tutelage of Bob Larkin. Bob and I, by the way, visited a local Ace Hardware together one recent Sunday — he for a saw blade to handle tile repair; me, for some 3-inch, No. 8, flat-head wood screws for a furniture repair. Could that trip have symbolized a passing of the 24×7 baton?

It may be premature for me to discuss what I envision for 24×7 in this, my maiden column; I’m learning new things about this industry every day. However, much like Eric Perron, president of the new group at Fluke who also finds himself at the helm of a new venture, I hope that you, our customers, “will see very little difference and only improvement … and maybe some better things in the future.”

Having said that, I believe a writer sometimes does her best work when she experiences her subject up close — when she takes the cow by the tale, so to speak. When stalking feature stories, I’ve suited up in bright-yellow waders to deep-sea fish from daybreak to sundown. I’ve lowered myself into underground caves and spelunked my way through parts of Pennsylvania. And, I’ve groomed livestock for 4-H competitions, as the picture below attests. I’ve tried hot-air ballooning, and I’ve performed PMs on my former 1968 British-racing-green, black-vinyl-top, 8-cylinder Mustang. Oh, and did I mention that I take weekly ballet lessons?

I am looking forward to meeting you at the HealthTech Conference in Baltimore, April 21-23, and beyond! I am eager to hear from you and curious about what topics concern you the most. I’m enthused about bringing you a magazine that interests and informs you, in the inimitable style that is 24×7’s. See you at the show!

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