from-the-editors-deskAt The Interim’s 25th anniversary dinner, founding editor Jim Hughes acknowledged a number of people who have made the paper what it is today. He mentioned some of the old ad sales people, the paper’s builders, financial contributors and others whose work made the paper possible. We are here today because of their selfless work and generosity. We stand on the shoulders of pro-life giants who were committed to the idea that the pro-life movement needed a pro-life newspaper. I thank them all – those living and deceased, some of whom I knew and worked with, some of whom I never had the pleasure to call my co-worker or colleague.

I want to take the opportunity in this space now to acknowledge those with whom I do work on a regular basis.

Our writers are great. Our columnists are insightful, our reporters vigilant. They are top-notch and we have worked hard over the past seven years of my editorship to bring in good writers. I think you would have to agree that our roster of writers are one of the best in any newspaper – secular or religious, daily or niche. But you see and appreciate the work they do in each issue and recognize their contribution to the excellence of each and every paper.

There are two names that appear in our masthead on page four – one of whom gets a regular byline – whose work you may not appreciate as much as I do, but without which this paper would not be what it is.

Dave Bolton is our production manager, which means he is responsible for laying out each page, finding artwork and photographs to illustrate stories and desiging the cover. Even when others take the photos or provide the artwork, it is Dave’s job to make them fit, both size-wise and technically. Whereas many daily newspapers have teams of design, graphics and layout workers, The Interim gets by with just one. Sure, we have a month to put the paper together, but almost all the layout work is crammed into a few days before the paper goes to press.

It is fortunate for all concerned that Dave is quite easy to get along with, considering the high-pressure, tight-deadline atmosphere of the paper. I am not sure how he puts up with my numerous suggestions for re-designing pages after he has layed them out – and sometimes undoing the changes I have demanded; I am just thankful that he does put up with me. The end result is usually a well layed-out page, or at least the best possible layout considering the time restraints and limited resources of the paper.

You see Tony Gosgnach’s byline every month on numerous stories and he carries a heavy writing load for our paper. But his responsibilities go far beyond filing anywhere up to a half dozen stories each month.

He monitors much of the media that I don’t and between the two of us, I am fairly confident that there are few news stories and trends of which we are not aware. He proposes story ideas, from features to news briefs. We often have different opinions on how stories should be covered – is X a newsbrief or short story and should Y be a feature story or a Q&A? While there is an editorial advisory board – a great board to work with each month (that is a topic for another column) – Tony is my sounding board over the last two weeks of the production cycle after the editorial board has met. I appreciate his news judgment; he has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, but more important, he is a long-time observer of the social, religious and political scenes.

Tony also copy-edits the paper the night before we go to press. Too often, it becomes a rush job, mostly due to last-minute editing and writing on my part. We have a full month to get the paper together, but 90 per cent of the editing and layout gets done in the final 48 hours. Tony is a thorough and skilled copy editor and any mistakes that make the final paper are often changes I’ve made after he has worked on it.

I’ve talked to Toronto Star reporters and their copy gets edited by at least a half-dozen editors, sometimes more. At The Interim, Tony and I look at every story and we usually have another set of eyeballs check the sensitive stories, but that’s it. Then again, the Star doesn’t have Tony Gosgnach correcting their copy.

I wanted to bring Tony and Dave to your attention because their contributions to making The Interim a quality paper should be acknowledged by those at the paper and recognized by you, the readers. Usually the editor gets the credit for what goes right (and, rightfully, the blame when things go wrong), but there is plenty of credit to share here at 104 Bond St.

I also want to draw attention to a new Interim columnist. Russ Kuykendall has been a frequent contributor to these pages in recent years, but he joins us a bi-monthly columnist starting this month. Russ is a senior researcher at the Work Research Foundation, assistant editor of Comment magazine and author of Greenlighting Trade: A Trade Corridors Atlas. He has been a political activist since 1990 and worked in the offices of several Reform party MPs and, briefly, at Queen’s Park. He has worked on several federal and provincial leadership campaigns, as well as issues campaigns, and has done everything in elections from licking stamps and stuffing envelopes to organizing events and leading get-out-the-vote projects.

Russ was born and raised in Grande Prairie, Alta., the eldest of six children. He pursued undergraduate studies at Alberta Bible College in Calgary and graduate studies in philosophy at Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, Ill. and in political theory at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. He now lives in Hamilton, Ont.

On page 6, he explains what he hopes to achieve with his column, reflecting on the revolutions that threaten our (authentic) liberty. I hope you enjoy and learn from his column Reflections on the Revolution that will appear every other month.

– Paul Tuns