"Everybody has a story and I love telling stories," said Desert Sun sports reporter Patti Myers to 14 DATA students who had the opportunity Oct. 23 to tour our local newspaper.
The students, accompanied by DATA Coordinator Matt Hamilton, DATA Counselor Deborah Applebaum, and DATA teacher Matt Cauthron, heard from Sun Executive Editor Rick Green, web editor Nick Bolland, and photojournalist Wade Byars.
Green, who freelanced for his local paper while still in high school, told the students that the newspaper business is rapidly changing with the advent of the Internet. "The days of waiting to get your information when the morning paper hits the porch are over. We're no longer just a newspaper; we're an information company." Green said that reporters now write from the web and update for the newspaper. "It's a lot different than when I started out with a notepad in my pocket," he said. "The digital world has transformed our profession."
Green said the Sun's online newspaper, mydesert.com, gets three million web hits a month, while the paper edition of the Desert Sun has a circulation of between 40,000 and 57,000, depending on what time of year it is.
Sun photojournalist Wade Byars, who became interested in photography while shooting pictures of winos and derelicts near his neighborhood, began working at the Desert Sun in 1992. His passion for photography extends beyond his working hours at the Sun, and he's working on publishing a book of his surrealistic photographs, some of which he shared with the DATA students during their visit.