I’ve never been one to be antagonistic towards my competitors. Some of my best friends in journalism were my direct rivals at competing papers.
My feeling is that we’re all in this together, we’re all trying to do the same thing - make a living and keep our jobs. That is a daunting enough challenge; why make it harder by creating an unfriendly dynamic with people you know you'll be running into frequently, and with people you know will be talking to others who matter to you?
So, even though people wondered last December why in the world I agreed to write a twice-weekly column for Arcadia Patch, which launched as a direct competitor to my four-year-old ArcadiasBest.com, I have not regretted the decision, even for a moment.
A big reason for that satisfaction is Patch editor/reporter Matt Burch. I knew I could trust Matt when he called me to have lunch prior to the launch of the site and did not hesitate to give me a direct and honest response when I told him that the concept of Patch sounded like a near duplicate of my own site.
“Yes, it is almost exactly the same,” he said. Then he offered me the column, noting that he would completely understand if I declined. When I told him I would agree if they would allow a link to my site in my Patch posts, he said, “Sure.”
Matt has been a great editor and a true professional; extraordinarily easy to work with for an editor and always true to his word and very attentive.
In just six months since the launch, Matt has made a big impact on journalism in Arcadia, all for the better. The Patch has provided a refreshing and much-needed expansion of news coverage of Arcadia.
Matt was immediately thrown into the fire when he had to cover a series of high-profile controversies in town, from and to the and , all of which he handled with professional aplomb. And all of that while overseeing all manner of editorial coverage and presentation of numerous freelance reporters covering everything from local sports to homes for sale.
And all while he and his wife have been dealing with a brand new baby and a new residence in a new town.
I’ve also enjoyed the many lunches he and I have had – I’ve been challenged and happy to introduce him to a new Arcadia eatery each time we meet, from to to to and . Next is Healthy Café Coffee Story run by entrepreneur Danny Yoo, which my former blogger and occasional contributor Larry Stewart .
Once again, embracing my competition has led to developing a valued friendship.
Read more by Scott Hettrick at ArcadiasBest.com.