Brad Amoroso did not expect to be writing for a newspaper, and certainly not in southeast Arkansas at a small local newspaper.
Before graduating in May 2004 from the University of Arkansas - Monticello, Amoroso sent out resumes and filled out applications from all over the United States; however, in the end he chose to stay in southeast Arkansas and become the editor of the Eagle newspaper in Warren.
One of the contributing factors in choosing Warren was that Amoroso’s wife, Meghan, was also graduating from UAM and accepted her job first.
“I felt like she should have an opportunity to fulfill her wishes before putting myself first. Our daughter is also another factor. She is familiar with the area and we have family and friends that makes choosing where to live and work just as important as money,” Amoroso said.
Amoroso has a bachelor’s degree in English but was one of the first students to enroll in the journalism courses that were first offered last spring. He attributes the majority of his success in college to several of UAM’s faculty: Diane Payne, Betty Matthews, Guy Nelson, Kate Stewart, Chris Wright, Robert Moore, Joe Guenter and former instructor Charles Fleiss.
He attributes his interest in journalism to the first journalism advisor, Patricia Roberts. Roberts was an established journalist living and reporting from Nepal who came to UAM to establish a safe environment for her son. Amoroso felt that her world experience added a great deal to his classes.
Amoroso has had to adjust to not only being an editor of a small town newspaper, but also writing articles, taking photographs and setting copy the old fashion way. Amoroso covers city and county government meetings, hospital or school board meetings, sports and obituaries, and he also places advertising ads.
“Writing for school and writing for real life is different; in fact, it is much harder,” Amoroso said. “We cut and paste by hand which is a unique way to learn the newspaper business. It isn’t as easy as you might think and it certainly makes me appreciate cut and paste on the computer.”
Danny Cook, publisher of the Eagle Publishing Company, said Amoroso has adjusted.
“He still has a lot to learn about newspaper writing, but he has established himself in the community and is fitting in well,” Cook said.
The majority of articles in the paper cover the local schools, government and industries. People enjoy reading the life section where they learn about births, deaths and weddings.
“You have to understand the small-town atmosphere to appreciate it. Also not being a native of Warren, I had to prove myself to the community. I had to establish that I was someone that could be trusted,” Amoroso said.
Real-life experience with his added college degree has made Amoroso appreciate his time spent at UAM. He also expressed how much he has learned from working on a small-town newspaper.
© The Voice, 2005
Revised 050304 http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_14/former.htm