Stone's Throw

A Quick Column About This Column

Opinion Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

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By Adam Stone

I’ve been on a breakneck, preposterous pace for the past year-and-a-half, reporting out deep dive columns practically every week, all while trying to run this local news outlet and keep family time sacred.

For the better part of about 13 years, after starting Examiner Media in 2007, I had actually stepped away from writing almost all together, focused on creating and building and managing our little local news engine that could.

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Community newspaper advocates rallied in Albany in late March to push for the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. In recent days, New York officials decided to include tax credits in the state budget, which will help local news publishers keep and hire more independent journalists.

Once the pandemic hit in 2020, I began contributing some personal essays, building a deeper relationship with you, our treasured readers, as we navigated an organizational crisis, buoyed by your direct support.

And by 2022, I returned to producing in-depth enterprise pieces, recapturing my passion, having begun my career as a beat reporter at the turn of the millennium.

I’ve now arrived at a time in my life where I need to shift to a middle ground.

I highly doubt I’ll ever walk away from heavy duty reporting again for a prolonged period of time. But I no longer want the self-imposed weekly demand.

There are extracurricular projects I’m considering, all while trying to wrestle with how to best position this Examiner local news ship for a sturdy, sustainable, long-term future.

As 2022 unfolded, I started regularly interviewing sources again. Since Dec. 10 of that year, when I debuted my Stone’s Throw series on CareMount/Optum/corporate healthcare specifically, I’ve prepared 66 reporting-based opinion columns, several of which were the types of enterprise pieces that could theoretically take weeks or even months to craft.

I don’t say this to brag (or maybe I do, damn lingering ego, not entirely vanquished yet) but rather to explain why I need a breather and a revised daily focus.

It’s important for me to stress that I genuinely know how much the weekly publishing schedule and investigative reporting has been appreciated, which makes this decision difficult.

Yet there’s good news: I hope to spend a portion of some of this newfound time working with more area journalists, as much as our limited budget will allow, to help ensure that my partial personal retreat from reporting doesn’t amount to a retreat from our commitment to thorough, nuanced, accessible, thoughtful explorations of complex issues.

In fact, New York made genuine history in recent days, including a payroll tax credit for local news outlets in the state budget, which will allow us to more robustly invest in our journalism moving forward.

I’ve learned so much from conducting research for these long-form pieces, earning a richer understanding of the world in the process. I’m grateful to know that many of you have been inspired by my examinations of a wide array of topics, from artificial intelligence and unidentified anomalous phenomena, to near-death experiences and holistic healthcare.

Whether investigating issues such as local environmental concerns, excessive homework or institutional challenges for area people with disabilities, I’ve gained new insights by following facts to build fair, layered narratives, trying to avoid confirmation bias and share multiple perspectives while acknowledging the folly of contrived objectivity.

It sounds cliche, I realize, but it’s actually been a genuine honor and a privilege.

That said, I don’t intend to make this dispatch resemble anything like a teary goodbye, although I feel myself unintentionally teetering on that tonal edge.

I’ll continue to appear in these print and digital pages, perhaps quite frequently.

However, I felt like my decision to reduce my committed publishing pace of in-depth reports in particular was noteworthy and relevant enough to share, as opposed to just quietly going quieter in that department, after neglecting to file a piece last week, unexplained.

As for my corporate sick care coverage, which I know has resonated with many of you in a uniquely impactful way, I should have my 16th installment ready for publication by next month, before possibly pressing the pause button on the series.

And it’ll be an absolute doozy, I have to say.

Don’t change that channel.

Adam Stone is the publisher of Examiner Media.

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