By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Editor’s Corner: Reflections and such
Andrea Gutierrez new

Another year, another sand dollar. It’s been approximately two months since I’ve taken over as editor of the Bryan County News, and I’m proud to say that I’ve learned so much about myself this year as an editor, a journalist, and as a person.

When I graduated from the University of Georgia last December, I had zero clue what kind of job I would end up with in the journalism Wild West. Being an editor seemed like a far-off proposition, a title appropriate for those much older and wiser than me, meant for those enlightened professionals who weren’t half-asleep in their pajamas trying (and failing) to take notes from their Zoom classes in college.

Imposter syndrome is a dreadful thing, and while I was dutifully applying for job openings in my childhood bedroom, I was also doom scrolling through Instagram feeds of old college acquaintances doing glamorous gap years in São Paulo or working at hoity-toity film festivals in California.

But nevertheless, by the grace of God and LinkedIn, I am here today as your esteemed editor who is writing yet another Op-Ed, a word which here means “a grown-up version of a middle school creative writing assignment.”

But life isn’t all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows; editor life is rewarding, but it’s also hard work. In the words of Uncle Ben, “with great power must also come great responsibility.”

It’s a shame that I don’t have a Peter Parker working for me at this Daily Bugle anymore; our intern Jeffrey is done for the semester and is going to graduate next year. It’s not like he did much around the place, to be honest–it was a glorified study hall for him. I can’t get mad at him though; when I was in high school my favorite class was Yearbook, where officially I was asked to design the school yearbook but in reality I spent my time there doing biology homework at the last minute and sneaking out to Parkers to buy lunch.

So far, I’ve only received two strongly worded emails about my editorial performance. If you do the math, that’s one email a month. That’s a ratio I can live with, like the ratio of cream to cookie in Double Stuf Oreos. And since I don’t have an actual staff at my paper, that means that I’ll get all the blame or all the fame for what goes on at the Bryan County News. Case in point: last week, I was gifted a whole box of cookies for Christmas from Social News Desk, a management software company, and I didn’t even have to share it with anybody!

So what’s it like managing a newspaper run by the Royal We?

Hands down, it’s the best job I’ve had so far, which is saying something. (This is because I once worked at a café up in Athens where I could take home as many unsold mini-muffins and blueberry scones as I wanted on Sunday evenings!).

Here are some quirky things that I’ve experienced at this job so far: One of the many parting gifts the old BCN editor Jeff Whitten gave me was a softball bat he randomly kept in his office for no apparent reason.

Jeff also gave me some self-published Sci-Fi/ romance books that local authors wanted him to read and review. You can put two and two together and realize that Jeff did nothing of the sort.

On my way to work this morning I observed a driver riding his motorcycle in the bicycle lane along Hwy-17 South. (Is that even legal?)

A woman came in one afternoon requesting stacks upon stacks of old newspapers for her daughter’s puppy to use as litter (which I happily gave!) but seemed flabbergasted when I asked her if she actually subscribed to the Bryan County News. (Call me crazy, but I think that subscribing to the Bryan County News is a fair trade-off for free puppy litter!).

This job could easily be the inspiration for NBC’s next hit workplace sitcom, in the vein of The Office and Parks and Recreation. (Nobody better steal my pitch to Lorne Michaels, please!)

For 2024, I just hope that I’ll get more opportunities to grow as an fledgling editor, and that the Bryan County public will take kindly to my innovative ideas, like installing a frozen yogurt machine in my office or starting a Tik Tok account for Bryan County News. (I’m only interested in one of those ideas–I’ll let you figure out which one I like better).

I would like to wish everyone who reads this a happy New Year, and I’ll see you next week!

Andrea Gutierrez is the editor of Bryan County News.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters