Editor Russell Noble says goodbye after seven years at the helm of CMJ.
Goodbye is a word that’’s often difficult to say because it’s permanent. Unlike see you later, or, until next time, and so on, it’s absolute. It means the end has come.
And for me, that’s exactly what goodbye means because I’m retiring from publishing after nearly 47 years in the business.
Like many you who have logged just as many years doing what you do, the time has passed quickly because I remember my first day working in journalism as if it was yesterday.
It was in the sports department as a ‘copy boy’ with the old Toronto Telegram newspaper, the predecessor to today’s Toronto Sun.
For those of you not familiar with the term ‘copy boy,’ or the Toronto Telegram and the unique ‘pink’ paper it was printed on, it involved gathering stories from writers in the newsroom when they yelled “copy” and delivering them to the editor.
It was the most junior editorial-related job at the paper, but it got me hooked on the excitement of journalism, and I’ve been involved with the publishing industry ever since.
That was 1969, and when I see that date, I guess it does put the 47 years into perspective because it is a long period of time no matter how quickly it seems to have passed.
From the Toronto Telegram, I moved to a small town weekly newspaper (also owned by the “Tely”) where I worked as a junior sports reporter for about a year until I saw an ad for an ‘assistant editor’ on a monthly trade magazine.
It was called Canadian Consulting Engineer, and by co-incidence, it was a magazine printed by my brother-in-law. I applied for, and got the job, and for the next 10 years, I moved from assistant editor, to associate editor, to finally managing editor.
Following that tenure, I moved to a magazine called Heavy Construction News (now On-Site magazine) as editor, and eventually associate publisher, to finally today, as editor of Canadian Mining Journal.
Ironically, all three of the magazines I’ve worked on during my entire career are now in the same building, but owned by different publishers. It’s as if I never left any of my former magazines because both Canadian Consulting Engineer and Heavy Construction News (On-Site) are in adjacent offices.
Publishing, like mining, is a rather small fraternity in that many of the players don’t stray far from their respective industries; they tend to turn up again in companies with different names, but in the same business.
It’s like a brotherhood of sorts. Mining people stick with mining companies, journalists stick with the media. It’s what we do, but more likely, it’s most likely all we know how to do.
I’ve often thought that I’d like to do something else, (don’t know exactly what that is however?) but when it comes down to it, writing and editing has been my life’s work and somewhat sadly, it’s about all I know I can do.
Thankfully I’m still mentally and physically healthy enough to work at something else, but quite honestly, I don’t think I want to. I hear about people retiring and either dying shortly afterwards, or regretting that they’ve left their jobs and wishing they hadn’t.
A month or two from now I may be in the same situation (not the dead one I hope) but for now, I’m at ease with my decision so on that note, I’ll just say goodbye.
(A numeral used by journalists to mark “The End”)