Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Correspondent position with the Press Democrat comes to a close: looking back (and forward)

Yesterday was my final day as a freelance corespondent for the Press Democrat -- the largest newspaper in Sonoma County. I'm happy to state that I didn't renew my contract due to too much work on my plate; I needed to pare it down for the new year. I won't miss the lengthy hours searching for subjects, transcribing interviews and painstakingly cutting and shaping. I will miss my byline:

By NICOLE R. ZIMMERMAN / Cotati and Rohnert Park Correspondent

Starting in June as a backup correspondent writing occasional features, I was offered a position as Cotati/Penngrove correspondent in September. After several weeks pleasing my editor, I accepted the Rohnert Park position as well. For three months I posted short articles several times per week on both Wordpress sites in addition to compiling a weekly calendar plus the centerpiece (800-word human interest feature for the Sunday Towns print section).

The best part of my job was getting away from my desk and into my community to meet all of the wonderful people making this place what it is. I liked looking for the story in an interview, compiling news posts, making contact. Under the mentorship of my editor, Linda Castrone (who early on wrote, "Your reporting and writing skills are spot on!"), I'm sure my skills have improved even more. There's just nothing like practice, and writing to deadline! Here's my photo from the webpage:


Nicole Zimmerman is our Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove correspondent.

Following are some of the "centerpiece" features, followed by "briefs," that went to print in the Sunday Towns section and/or online at the Press Democrat. (Forgive the weird formatting):

Host families share more than holiday traditions
Thursday, December 20th, 2012 

Each holiday season, Jeanine and Leo Antone of Rohnert Park share a typical Christmas dinner with their family... But the meal, along with most holiday traditions, is nothing typical for their principal guest. Megumi Tateyama is a Japanese student the Antones have hosted in their home since mid-October.

You can see more articles by clicking on the "Girl Reporter" tab at the top of the blog. Thanks!


Mrs. Henry said...

Nicole- It has been such a treat to observe the evolution of your writing life. Congratulations on your success in a career built on pure passion and a whole lot of pavement pounding!

Nicole R. Zimmerman said...

Thanks Mrs. Henry! Likewise, your creative drive and energy as an awesome teacher-mom-artist-nature girl continue to inspire me as well. Our paths seldom cross in the tangible world, but I'm glad we can at least share the love of words and life in pictures.

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