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John Anastasi: From the Editor’s Desk

Telling the community’s stories

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In the best community newspapers, mutual trust and respect are foundational elements of a symbiotic relationship between the journalists and the readers they serve.

Readers get what they deserve — news without an agenda, lifestyle content that helps them love where they live, sports coverage that reaches beyond wins and loses to celebrate our kids’ hard work and dedication, and a place of their own to submit letters to the editor and guest opinions. The newspapers get the privilege of telling their community’s stories and, of course, the means to continue doing that well.

It’s a two-way partnership that I believe already exists here at the Bucks County Herald — and one that’s absolutely vital to our viability as a nonprofit community news organization. And so I promise to nurture and defend that relationship during my term as its editor in chief, which began Monday.

Part of that trust comes from knowing the newspaper’s leaders, and no one has modeled that here like Bridget Wingert, who founded the Herald 20 years ago with her husband, Joseph T. Wingert. She has been a force and a fixture in our towns and I want to carry on the legacy she’s earned. I’ll start by telling you a little bit about myself.

I grew up loving newspapers. My grandfather was a grizzled circulation manager at the Philadelphia (Evening) Bulletin. My mother worked in creative services at the Northeast Times where I grew up. I’ve always loved writing but really caught the bug at Millersville University when I picked up a journalism minor and joined the college paper. I interned at the Catholic Standard & Times in Philadelphia. The editors there offered me a full-time job upon graduation but I opted for less pay and longer hours at Montgomery Newspapers in Fort Washington. I wanted to be in community journalism.

I spent the bulk of my career — 22 years — at The Intelligencer and Bucks County Courier Times newspapers as a reporter and, later, an editor. I closed out my career there as its editorial writer and the director of its opinion pages.

I’m raising a young family in Middletown. My wife, Emily, is a music teacher.

Our 5-year-old son Luke attends kindergarten and I’m proud to say he’s growing into a bit of a writer himself. Our 2-year-old daughter Violet is looking forward to getting on the bus with him in a few years.

Violet, who has Down syndrome, inspires me daily with her endearing mix of beguiling sweetness and gritty determination. Because of her, I became the treasurer of the Bucks County Down Syndrome Interest Group, a nonprofit resource for families in the area.

And I’m wholly committed to doing the work I love in the community I call home.

That’s a little bit about me. I’d love to learn something about you. My email address is janastasi@buckscountyherald.com.

Let’s get started.


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