I initially expressed interest in the Morristown Patch position before the site opened in 2010. But personal circumstances and a desire to take some time away from front-line journalism to start a family kept me away.
After original flavor Morristown Patch Editor John Dunphy left the post to pursue happiness abroad, I had the opportunity again to take charge of the county seat, but opted to pitch in with some Patch sites in western Morris and Sussex counties that needed a hand.
Now, after long last I am here. And I know what you guys are thinking.
So what, who cares and what is in it for me?
So allow me to do my best to answer those questions. I came to Patch in 2012 and launched Mendham-Chester Patch right across the border from where I live in Randolph. Before that I had a pretty enjoyable career at a slew of places I won’t bore you with. Some were local jobs like the Daily Record and others were a bit further like Monmouth University.
a large part of who I am personally and professionally, comes from Morristown. And by extension Morris
Township and Morris Plains. You see, my mother’s side of the family is from
Morristown. Specifically Wetmore Avenue. And while I grew up in Mt. Olive, to
say that I spent a huge chunk of my childhood in Mo’town would be an
understatement. Nearly every significant, formative family gathering took place there.
My grandmother Rose DeCaro, who was also my best friend, lived there until her passing in October of 2010. When I was in graduate school, I lived with her. After graduate school I got my start in journalism writing for the Daily Record and eventually assistant editing the now-defunct Plus sections. I covered community news in and around Morristown on a daily basis and it made my grandmother prouder than I think I could ever explain.
Those of you who know Morristown know why. Morristown is a special place. And those who live and work here are proud to live and work here.
Home Field Advantage
Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of love for Morris Township and Morris Plains,
whose site I also now manage. I lived in Morris Plains for years before I got
married and my gym is still there. My hope is to bring my ‘home field
advantage’ to the sites.
Up until now, the sites have been run by outsiders. Now, you will be working with someone from the inside, someone from Morris county who lives in Morris county and someone who knows these communities and loves them as much as you do.
me, the most exciting thing about Patch is that it truly is a community
platform. It becomes a reflection of the community that it serves. What the
residents and businesses partner with us to put on the site, gets on the site.
It really is your site as much, if not more so, than it is mine.
Fast Five Stories Written by Russ Crespolini
- Bullying Claim Pits Family Against School District
- 9/11 Hero: ‘Nation Stronger Than Ever’
- Ex-Addict: You Can Live a Productive Life
- Bus Driver Honored By BOE For Saving The Day
- Origami Angels Sought For Teen Fighting Cancer
While I believe in covering the big stories, I also believe in the spotlighting the quieter ones. The smaller events, the feel good news, the sports triumphs on all levels. I want the good news out of your schools, the community engagement programs run by your police. I want all of these things comprise your community and I want the site to be representative of the complex culture you all represent.
that is a tall order for one guy. So I am going to need your help.
You Got Yourself a Partner
I need YOU to partner with me and get the material you want to see on the site. This means I need you to use the site. Send me e-mails of stories you want to see done. Upload announcements and events to the calendar. Call me and share tips you might come across. I can’t promise I will get to everything, but I will always answer you with honesty and respect. You may not like my answer, I promise I will always give you one.
I will miss things, I will make mistakes and I will have a learning curve when it comes to getting reacquainted with the news and issues in the area. I ask for a little patience and a lot of feedback to get me going in the right direction.
You are going to see my around town a lot. I try to be as visible a presence as possible and you will know me by my fedora. In Mendham and Chester they used to call me “the man in the hat.” A colleague of mine named Mike Celizic taught me this trick as a way to break in a new territory. So if you see me on the street, walking on the green or in Panera or Starbucks grab me and say hello. Tell me what you think of the site and what we can do better (you won’t hurt my feelings, I promise).
sites matter to me and they should matter to you too. And if they don't, we should work together to MAKE them matter.
My name is Russ Crespolini and I am editor of your hyper-local news site.
can’t wait to see what stories we get to tell together. And I know that, wherever she is, my grandmother couldn't be happier I finally took the job.