Friday, January 30, 2009

Newspaper legend bids farewell for now

I read the column written by Greater Meadia Newspapers' executive editor, Greg Bean, and discovered that he was not going to continue in his position at GM, for health reasons. According to Greg, he will be leaving around the end of the month.

I have known Greg since about late 1996, when I applied for a job as a reporter and I was given the East Brunswick beat for The Sentinel. I worked at GM for about a year and then landed my job at The Courier as its editor, in 1998. In about 2002, I became Courier's publisher.

In knowing Greg, I can admit there were some rough patches in our acquaintance, but I will just as easily admit that, though I might not have always thought he was right, I respected him a great deal personally and professionally.

I can honestly say I had some of my best arguments with him. But when I wrote for him I also learned more about writing than at any time previously. In a profession where anyone can call themselves an editor by plugging their laptop into an outlet in their garage and running off editions on a copier, there are a lot of people who call themselves journalists.

In my time in Central Jersey, I have met darn few writers who merit being called journalists or reporters, let slone anything more than that. But Greg Bean is someone who gets respect the old fashioned way -- he earns it. In an industry plagued with schmucks, he was and is the genuine article where it invovles excellence.

Personally, I wish Greg a lot of luck. He is a good man, and there are fewer of those than there are good journalists. He is a class act and one of the best at the community news game. Of course, it has been my privilege to meet and know his successor, Mark Rosman, some. And, whenever anyone has brought up his name, despite the fact he worked for the competition, I always responded with "one of the best." He is a great editor, and an awesome newsman. I also wish him a lot of luck. No one deserves it more.

While working at Greater Media, I also worked for Adele Young, who Greg noted would be even more involved in the future. And, if there is anyone who knows more about the English language and editing, I have yet to meet them. I still remember her edits and remain thankful for her patience with a relatively new, thought-he-knew-it-all writer. Best of luck to her.

Jim Purcell

To go to Coda go to Greater Media's site at

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