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Wilson: Do you want your hand slapped?

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 11:39 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 4:29 p.m. CDT

I started in the newspaper business seven years ago working for a successful weekly newspaper in southwest Missouri.

That newspaper was led by editor Donna Osborn — a short-haired, sharply-dressed woman who placed a strong emphasis on “watchdog journalism.”

But, Donna would be just the first female editor I would work for. I — and all my belongings —returned to Creston in a small, white U-Haul five years ago to work at this newspaper for Stephani Finley.

In those five years, I’ve come to learn a few things from and about Stephani.

Like:

• Finding the words “over” or “due to” anywhere in your copy will make her very unhappy. The use of those words in most cases gets a reaction of “do you want your hand slapped?” That lesson has rubbed off on me enough I can’t hardly stomach listening to car dealership commercials anymore because of their excessive use of the word “over.”

• Staff is required to be timely. No excuses.

• She dislikes “jumbo” paper clips. This is something young “green” reporters pick up very early working at the Creston News Advertiser. Don’t use “jumbo” paper clips, clippies or staples when submitting copy or cutlines. Use regular 1-inch paper clips.

Watching her train new reporters on her preferred paperclip size, as well as her opinions about “men” and “friggn volleyball” have provided me with much laughter in the past half decade.

• She’s a great source of information in both your professional and personal life. I’ve spent significant time — especially in the past two years — sitting in her old, blue office chair garnering advice on topics like wedding planning, home buying and home repairs. Truly, thank you for the free advice Stephani.

Many of you know already, Stephani is retiring Jan. 31 after 16 years with the Creston News Advertiser. She will be missed in our newsroom, but not forgotten. As you can tell, many of her lessons are cemented in our brains.

For the public and CNA staff, an open house is planned for her 1 p.m. Jan. 30 at the News Advertiser. Please attend and wish her the best in her retirement.

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