Column: Much in common with Brazilian editor

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on April 6, 2010

We had a special guest at the newspaper on Monday. Rogerio Castro, 37, of Rio Preto, Brazil, joined us at the Kane County Chronicle for the day to learn more about American newspapers as part of an exchange program through the Rotary. Castro is the editor of a daily newspaper in his hometown.

Despite a few language barriers – Castro’s English is good, but there are certain words he’s not familiar with; my Portuguese is, well, non-existent – it turned out to be a great learning experience for both of us.

He learned more about some of the social media technology we’ve been using recently – such as Facebook and Twitter – to communicate with readers through different platforms. I learned how very similar newspapers and their operations are across different countries.

We might not have understood each other’s every word, but we both certainly understood what each of us goes through on a day-to-day basis as editor of a newspaper – the joy of a well-done story, the deep embarrassment at errors, the delight at opening the paper each morning after a hard day’s work of helping it come together.

Some things simply don’t need to be spoken.

• • •

It was the opening day of baseball for many fans on Monday. White Sox fans rejoiced after their game. Cubs fans – which includes yours truly – bemoaned after their game. (Actually, I started bemoaning during the game.)

Ah, spring baseball.

And soon enough, baseball will be coming back to the Tri-Cities. The Kane County Cougars’ first home game is Sunday. We’ll start previewing this year’s team in Wednesday’s edition of the paper.

• • •

I really enjoyed Brenda Schory’s article in today’s paper on Donna Stout of Batavia, a heart transplant recipient who will be participating in the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games this summer.

Becoming an organ donor is so important, and the story on Stout certainly sheds light on just how important it can be.

Her daughter, Heather Stout, wears a pin that reads “I am. Are you?” as does Donna and her husband, Rick. Because of organ donation, Heather and Rick still have Donna in their lives.

It’s a great message.

And for the record, I am, too. Are you?

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at jgrace@kcchronicle.com or call him at 630-845-5368.

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