Anxious to meet Cranston

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It isn’t common that you see two separate introductory columns for the same person in two years, but allow me to put my name out there for you again.

After working as the assistant sports editor for nearly 18 months, I recently accepted an in-house promotion to become editor of the Cranston Herald. I have been around the community my entire life, as my dad was born and raised in the area and I’ve had family there ever since.

I started writing for the Warwick Beacon when I was 16 years old, back in January 2011. My father sent me a text message while I was at the Warwick Public Library one afternoon, and it read “Hey, Mr. Sports Writer, why don’t you try freelancing for the Beacon?”

My first assignment from former sports editor Will Geoghegan was soon after, and it was atrocious. No quotes, little substance and complete embarrassment sum it up rather well. It was initially soul-crushing but also a valuable learning experience.

I could not have imagined that six years later I would be in this position. I started working here full time during my senior year of college at the University of Rhode Island, and I’ve developed new friendships and connections within Warwick, Cranston and Johnston since being hired in May 2015.

Though sports has been my forte recently, news was where I began at URI. I would often take four to five stories a week as a contributing reporter at the campus newspaper, “The Good 5 Cent Cigar.” I would cover anything from the marine professor performing new research, to the weekly Student Senate meetings that bordered on violating the Sunshine Laws.

I drifted more toward sports as the seasons went by at URI, but I always followed along with current events, both local and global. Home was right around the corner, so I kept up. As the old Rhody tune goes, “I’m Rhode Island-born and I’m Rhode Island-bred.” It’s a dream come true to be able to cover one of the largest cities in the state that is tied to my heart.

Life is all about taking on new challenges and embracing them, because otherwise there is no way to grow as a professional and as a person. Sports has always been my comfort zone, but I have always seen Cranston as a special type of city. It’s undoubtedly one of the most vibrant in Rhode Island, a fact that has been solidified during 18 months of covering its residents.

Branching outside of sports and moving into numerous different offshoots and avenues will allow me to explore the rich boundaries of Cranston even more. Based on my discussions with Mayor Allan Fung a couple weeks ago, the city is only going to keep growing. There has to be someone there who is dedicated to covering it as it does.

Whether it was trips down the street to Pizza Fair with my grandmother, or driving past the enormous Cranston Stadium on the way to my uncle’s home, it seems as though my personal memories of the city are endless. It’s an honor to hold this position, an opportunity few receive.

I look forward to working with all of you, and do not hesitate to contact me. If you have any submissions or story tips/ideas, I can be reached at 401-732-3100 or jacobm@rhodybeat.com.

Whether you know someone who is going to become an Eagle Scout or there is a school fundraiser for a good cause coming up, I’m all ears. It could be a photo submission or in-depth story. If it’s about Cranston, it’s news. I am open to just about anything, because local news isn’t valuable unless it has a tie to the community.

Now that introductions are complete, let’s get to work.

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