Column: New editor returns home
January 08. 2013 2:40PM
As a quasi-new face in town, I thought it would be prudent for me to let the readers of the Dell Rapids Tribune get to know their new editor by introducing myself and offer a bit of background on why I am ecstatic to have the position.
As noted in the byline above, my name is Joe Sneve. What isn’t noted is that I am a hometown kid. My family — mother, Kelley, and father, Mark — moved to a small acreage west of Dell Rapids in 1988, where we hobby farmed for seven years before the stress of hauling kids in and out of town became too much.
In 1995, we purchased a home in a new residential edition on the then west edge of the city. Today, Mom and Dad still reside there, but the kids are grown.
After graduating from Dell Rapids public school in 2003, I attended the University of South Dakota, where I studied political science and journalism. There, I sharpened my journalistic teeth while working on the student newspaper, contributing to an award-winning product.
Through summer and winter internships at the Argus Leader and the South Dakota Newspaper Association, I continued to prove myself to industry professionals and, upon graduating from the Harvard of the Midwest, I was offered a multi-faceted reporter’s position at the Iola (Kan.) Register, one of the longest running family-owned newspapers in the country.
Although I loved my job and coworkers in Kansas, I longed for home, a startling revelation considering only 10 years ago I was a teen full of angst wanting nothing more than to distance myself from what I had perceived as boring old South Dakota. But time has a way making you appreciate the little things — nice roads, good economy, low taxes and familiar faces.
When the opportunity arose, I successfully pursued a position at the Argus Leader and made the move back north in April 2012. Once back, my fiancé Lindsay and I were house hunting, an endeavor that eventually would land us in Dell Rapids.
For eight months, I made the daily commute to and from Sioux Falls with little complaint. In late November, when news came that Luke Tatge would be leaving the Dell Rapids Tribune to pursue other ambitions, it seemed that fulfilling the position was fate. It was storybook.
Working a mere three blocks from my home and no daily commute are both perks to the position. But those benefits give me little satisfaction compared to the real draw to the job.
I love and respect the journalism industry for one reason: To keep the citizenry informed of local happenings in the community and the conduct of the governing powers. I firmly believe the fourth estate is as important to a functioning, democratic society as anything else. An uninformed populace is destined to fall victim to wrongdoing among those in power, no matter how well-intended our leaders, public and private, are.
It is that motivation that ensures I can be happy at an information-gathering company in the world, but to be able to provide this important service to my hometown, my family, my friends, my acquaintances gives me unspeakable satisfaction and I will not take the job lightly.
With that said, this is my opportunity to invite all readers of the Dell Rapids Tribune to contribute in any way they choose. Story ideas, news tips and criticism alike all are welcome. The proverbial door is always open and I look forward to working with and getting to know all of you.