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Judith Meyer.

Editorial page editor, The Sun Journal in Lewiston, Maine

207/784-7045, ext. 2302; jmeyer@sunjournal.com

Career history: I've been in this position since July 1998, moving here from my position as a regional bureau chief at the Sun Journal. From 1990 to 1997, I worked as a freelance writer, contributing to the Sun Journal on a regular basis and to a number of national magazines on a semi-regular basis. I came to journalism informally, picking writing up to fill the time after my children were both in grade school. Before moving to Maine in 1985, I worked as a legal secretary at firms in Newport, Rhode lsland, and New York City.

Changes in the shop: Three years ago we hired a new executive editor and graphics designer and the newspaper is picking up momentum in both content and design. Last month we were designated one of the world's best-designed newspapers for our circulation size and are considered, by The Society of Newspaper Design, to be one of the top 10 in the United States for our size. We're mighty proud of that.

Recent awards: Last year, I won a third-place editorial writing award for a piece on Plum Creek from the Maine Press Association and won a first-place award for a weekend Perspective section, also from the Maine Press Association, that included a local cover piece examining the concept of regionalizing government services in the six New England states.

Community involvement: I serve as a director on the board of the Maine Music Society, regularly volunteer at my children's school, and occasionally officiate at games for my community's local youth ice hockey association.

Recent travels: I was in Washington, D.C. on vacation with my family, and in Washington in January, too, one of 15 fellows at a National Press Foundation conference. I have family in Atlanta and regularly visit there, and try to get to Canada as much as possible. This summer my husband, son, and I plan to take a four- or five-day canoe trip on the Connecticut River, putting in somewhere in southern Vermont and traveling to the river's mouth at Long Island Sound in Old Saybrook where my parents live.

Family news: My family of four stays busy. I've been happily married for nearly 20 years and have two teen-agers -- a son and a daughter. My husband and my children all play ice hockey, which keeps our weekends pretty full, plus my children are both gearing up for spring lacrosse season. We are also an avid golf family and play as much as possible during the summer. Our levels of accomplishment vary, but it's fair to say we make the most of 18 holes. We also have a full-of-love-chocolate lab and two mice-consuming felines.

Last book read: Tess Gerritsen's Bloodstream. Right now I'm reading Wendy Shalit's A Return to Modesty: Rediscovering the Lost Virtue, a fascinating view from a 24-year-old woman about the United States' slide toward immodesty and what is at the root of this evil.

Best thing about job: The absolute best thing about the job is that I can think out loud and challenge people to disagree with me. It makes for lively conversations -- on the phone and on the letters page -- and I really enjoy pushing people to look at issues based on facts, not emotion. Because Mainers are an independent lot of folks, there isn't a conventional wisdom herd mentality here and people are not complacent about local issues. Makes every day really fresh.

Worst thing about job: I'm constantly being told that if we reject a letter, we're standing in the way of that letter writer's, God-given right to free speech." I get frustrated trying to explain free speech is not God-given, and that free speech doesn't guarantee a printed letter to the editor.

First impression of NCEW: I like The Mosthead a lot. And, in following the e-mail, it's nice to know other editorial writers are grappling with the same issues that lam. I like the flowing forum and marvel that so many have so much time to respond to so many posts.
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Publication:The Masthead
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2000
Words:685
Previous Article:Judie Hintzman.
Next Article:Bob Silbernagel.
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