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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back from first trip to Italy

My husband and my 30th anniversary gift to ourselves was a 12-day trip to Italy, which wrapped up this weekend. Think "Under the Tuscan Sun" and anything else that you've imagined about Italy being a beautiful mix of hillsides with cypress trees and olive groves, ancient buildings and glorious art, with temperatures in the 70s and hints of fall. Picture perfect. Lucky for us, we hooked up with the tour affiliated with the Saratoga County Arts Council, and organizer Mary Huber set up the 19-person group with terrific tour guides in Florence, Lucca, Siena, Pisa and Rome. Saratoga is rich in history, but to walk down the street and see the ruins of 2,000-year-old buildings ... or to see in person the statue of David ... breathtaking.
Enough gushing, time for our Wednesday morning management meeting with the publisher ... back to the real world ...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pedaling as fast as we can

That headline would actually be most apt for city reporter Andrew Bernstein, whose first love, I think is bicycling. But the reference would be to those of us in this newsroom newsroom (not unlike many newsrooms around the country) who are trying to balance quality and crebility with increasingly limited resources. This is a profession that depends heavily on the dedication of people for whom journalism is a labor of love, not money.
Anyway, Bernstein and the rest of us have been pedaling as fast as we can lately, mostly on account of the perfect storm of overlapping vacations, a military spouse leave, a resignation, illness, the loss of a position by attrition, and the production deadline for our monthly magazine, Spirit of Saratoga. So Berstein and I have been working many a night "on the desk" -- that is, editing and paginating the pages for the next morning's newspaper.
I've been meaning to write regularly on this blog, and have had trouble getting into the habit. My goal is to pick up the pace for the blog and to resume my Saturday column in November, when staffing returns to something more resembling normal.