In Limbo

I’m still waiting to hear whether I’m going to get to keep doing the New Hampshire Grand Initiative videos. They’ve got some concerns about liability, which we’re working on addressing, but for now the Grand Adventurer isn’t adventuring (officially, that is).

But today I get to do something else extremely rewarding in the North Country. North Country Education Services is an organization that works to promote excellence in the North Country education. They work with the schools to create opportunities for kids, and today I got to be part of one of those.

NCES put on a middle school film festival, where middle school students wrote, shot, starred in and edited movies about healthy living and healthy lifestyles. Their associate executive director, Lori Langois, is doing a leadership program with me, and she asked me if I would serve as host for an awards ceremony.

It was great. I got to read out the winners for best editing, best cinematography, best picture and the rest. I was handing out awards to fifth through eight graders (the first time I’ve ever been the tallest person on stage).

In journalism it can be challenging, because you need to keep your distance from every interest. No man is an island, but it is hard to serve on a board or put your support behind causes in a small community because you wind up covering those causes. I’ve already interviewed friends and former employers for stories at the Sun. That’s a tough place to be, because even if the story is evenhanded a possible bias exists.

But I’ve always been a champion of Coös. I’ve always felt as the reporter I was responsible for representing the interests of the people, whatever that means. But I couldn’t throw my hat in the ring, in many respects, because I might be interviewing the people in that ring a few weeks later. Now, however, I’m free of that burden—at least in Coös County. I don’t cover these communities nearly as much anymore, so I have the opportunity to throw my energy behind organizations there without having to worry about the appearance of favoritism.

I’m hoping I can work out something with the Initiative, but if not that’s OK. Either way, I’ve found a great place to invest my energy: Coös.

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