The Herald helped me find a sense of place in the community

To the editor:

The announcement of the Rumbach family’s sale of The Herald feels like a vital part of our community is ending. The initial shock of the news hit me in the same way news of a death hits me.

I worked as a copy editor and page designer from November 27, 2000 to December 31, 2009. In my time at The Herald, I learned invaluable lessons still serving me today. Without exaggeration, John Rumbach’s wisdom about attention to detail have shaped my life as much as anything I learned in a classroom setting. The Herald was my first post-college employer and brought us to our home for the past 20 years. I came in a scared and green 23-year-old, hired to do a job I didn’t know I could do. I believe I left with, among other things, an ability to consider all points of view beyond my personal convictions — something we all could use a bit more of these days. The immeasurable quality of The Herald’s journalism helped me find a sense of place in a community where my young family had no roots. Local names and faces became familiar names and faces. If you were born and raised with The Herald, you might have little idea what a treasure it has been to community journalism. There are so few news sources like it in America (“the best small town newspaper in America” is what I often say, without hesitation).

Similarly, dozens of journalists were given a chance to grow by a family dedicated to excellence and treating its employees with fairness. The loss of The Herald’s brand of community journalism and the loss of present and future jobs — without trying to be dramatic — grieves me.

While it feels like a death, the news comes with the reality The Herald will continue, but change. However, I am committed to keeping my subscription. Local journalism matters more now than we often realize. I am cautiously hopeful for the future, but will also lament the passing of this time. To the Rumbach family, thank you. You’ve made a difference.

—Daniel Ross

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