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A 'Goodbye' from Your Newton Editor

Local Editor Melanie Graham will be leaving Newton Patch at the end of this week.

 

To avoid burying the lede, I’ll cut to the chase:

After almost three years at the helm of Newton Patch, I’m officially signing off. My last day is this Friday, May 10.

Later this month, I’ll be moving on to a brand new role at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where I will be producing digital content and working on social media. 

So, as I say "so long" to you, how do I sum up my time here in Newton?

I could sum it up in the number of articles I’ve written: 4,985 as of May 7.

I could talk about some of my favorite stories I've covered (the Innovation Lab), some of the hardest (the disappearance of Franco Garcia), or the quirkiest (Wolverine, the fearless Green Decade mascot). 

I could also talk about all the great people I’ve met in this city, but there are too many to thank. 

 

I guess I'll just tell you a little bit about how it all started.

In the summer of 2010, I got the call from Patch telling me they’d like me to come on board as a local editor. They asked me if I had a preference where I’d like to work...and I didn’t have a clue. I had friends who lived in Upper Falls so, hey, why not Newton?

Fast forward a few weeks to my first meeting with a large group of my soon-to-be co-workers and managers. 

You’re the new Newton editor?” one woman asked. “Do you know how important that city is?”

She had a point. I was 22, fresh out of my first full-time reporting gig in Central Mass. and really had no idea what Newton was all about. I knew it had a couple of stops on the D Line and that was about it. 

Then there was the realization that the city had something called aldermen...and apparently they were pretty important, but I had never heard of one.

Nevertheless, I was ready to hit the ground running.

During the summer of 2010  I went around to everyone at City Hall and folks in the School Department to make sure I knew the right people. I shook a lot of hands and handed out a ton of business cards. I racked up some serious mileage driving around the city and spent months walking as many sidewalks in the 13 villages that I could. 

Of course, the beginning wasn’t easy. But after almost three years I hope I’ve succeeded in my mission to build Newton Patch into a quality, reliable community news and information site this city deserves.

 

Now that I’m heading out, it’s time for you, the readers, to keep this website robust and make Newton Patch the community outlet you want it to be. So many of you have contributed fantastic blog posts (ahem, Jerry Reilly) and consistently posted to our announcements page and calendar (thank you Jeannie Smith!) -- I know you can keep it up.

Remember: See something interesting around town? Post a photo. Have a random thought you’d like to talk about? Post a blog. Did your high school graduate earn a great scholarship? Tell us about it in the announcements page. Yard sale? The events calendar is there for you.

Your content is what transforms Newton Patch from simply a news site to a community forum. 

 

Brooklyn Lowery will be taking over the editor duties here at Newton Patch starting Monday, May 13. Brooklyn is a fabulous reporter and editor -- my #1 pick to run this site. Like many Patch editors, Brooklyn will be managing two sites, both Wayland Patch and Newton Patch. That means the rich, community content you provide is going to have an even bigger role. 

So, I’d like to think of this sign-off as not only a transition for Brooklyn and myself, but also a transition for you, the readers. It’s time for you to take the reins and own your Patch!

 

See you around (probably at Coffee Corner) --

--Melanie

 

P.S. A much deserved shoutout to Patch Columnist Wendy Schapiro, who is also leaving Newton Patch this month. There are too many thanks to say here, Wendy, but the bottom line is: this site couldn't have reached this level of success without you. Thank you for all that you've done!

Also, a special shoutout to the Board of Aldermen for the very sweet recognition and goodbye at Monday's meeting -- I was truly embarrassed. Thank you.  


Saul Wisnia May 08, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Great column, Melanie. As a Newtonite I'm sorry to see you leave Newton Patch but as your future DFCI colleague I'm excited you are joining our team. Hope you get to write 15 more articles in the next three days to reach 5.000. :)
Wendy Schapiro May 08, 2013 at 01:39 PM
*sniffle* Thank YOU, Mel. I'll save the bulk of my mush for my own farewell column, but I do have to say that for the past nearly-three-years you have made Newton Patch what it is, have made Newton a better and better-informed place to live, and have pretty much taught me everything I know about being a news writer. You've also been a great friend, and I'm going to miss you. Super excited for your new opportunity, but Newton and Newton Patch are definitely going to feel your absence.
MM Burwell May 08, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I am so bummed you're leaving Newton Patch, but happy to hear you are going to DFCI, a place near and dear to my heart. Good luck in your new adventure and thanks for all the great stories and keeping us informed.
caren cummings May 08, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Nice goodbye and hello from us here at Dana-Farber. We're thrilled to have you with us.
Robert L. Cerra May 08, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Good Luck Melaine, you welcoming to me and my conservative opinions as I was surrounded by bleeding heart liberals.
Ruders May 08, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Best wishes to you, Melanie. Dana-Farber is a wonderful organization, and the communications team you'll be joining is awesome! I worked there for more than a decade and hope you have a great experience there, too ... Debbie
Brooklyn Lowery (Editor) May 08, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Such big shoes to fill, Melanie. Thank you for paving the way. I'm thrilled for you and your new journey, sad to lose a fantastic colleague, excited to embrace the challenge and adventure of Newton, and fully aware that I will never by you. (Whew, so much going on right now). Big congrats and a bittersweet farewell to you!
Jerry Reilly May 08, 2013 at 02:13 PM
We'll miss you Melanie. You did a fabulous job of quickly turning the Newton Patch into a valuable, fun, and important resource for our city. I've been in awe of what one person, with apparently quick typing fingers, can do.
Ellen May 08, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Melanie, Thanks for all of your efforts to build a very informative PATCH site for Newton. Your accurate reporting and easy-to-read writing style have made it a pleasure to read the PATCH every day. Thank you for all of the times you responded to my requests for coverage for the Newton Free Library. You always got the story right! I wish you well in your new job. We'll miss you!
Jo-Louise Allen May 08, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Melanie, congratulations on your new career at DFCI. You have done a fabulous job of creating the Newton Patch, and bringing it to a high level of accurate reporting and the daily go-to site. I admired your speedy typing skills at School Committee meetings. Thank you for allowing me to post monthly announcements for the Newton Parents Advisory Council for Special Education.
Mark Golden May 08, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Melanie, Newton'a loss is Dana-Farber's gain. I wish you great success there, the work they do is so important.
Nancy Grissom May 08, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Melanie - you will definitely be missed in Newton! Thank you for all the help you gave me for the Friends of the Newton Free Library and the Community Preservation Committee. Good luck to you!
Robert Fucci (Editor) May 08, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Dana Farber is lucky to have you, Melanie. I'd wish you good luck but I know you don't need it. Great job with Newton ... a former hometown of mine!
Tom Sheff May 08, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Melanie, Good Luck in your future endeavors. I love some of your innovative blogging like alllowing bloggers to ask questions live with JK3, I thought that was very innovative. Your creativity will serve you well. Good Luck again.. Brooklyn-Not only do you have big shoes to fill, but if you improve the Patch as much as Melanie has the Patch will be going national sometime soon:). Good Luck to one and all.
Ryan Grannan-Doll (Editor) May 08, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Congratulations Melanie! Patch is losing a great editor.
Lauren Paul May 08, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Aww, sorry to see you go, Melanie! You did a super job!! Best of luck in your new endeavor!
Jerry Reilly May 08, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Come say goodbye to Melanie. Stop by Mick Morgan's on Needham St tomorrow (Thurs) at 8PM (or after) to say goodbye and wish her well. Everybody's welcome, whether you know her personally or are you're an admirer of what she built at the Newton Patch.
Margaret Ford May 08, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Melanie -- thanks so much for all you've done for Newton and for our events/news at Green Decade. We wish you all the best at Dana Farber and thanks for including us & Wolverine in your sign-off! Best, Margaret Ford & Wolverine the Wonder Turtle
Melanie Graham (Editor) May 09, 2013 at 04:48 AM
Wow -- thank you so much, everyone! Please stop by Mick Morgan's Thursday night, if you can. I would love to see all of you!
Karla Vallance May 09, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Bittersweet farewell is right: Melanie, you have been such a pro, and a hard-working and thoughtful pro, that it is a bit bitter to have to say goodbye (professionally, anyway) but sweet for new, next steps for you. It has been such a pleasure to work with you, I can't thank you enough. The other 'sweet' part of this: Newton, you will love your new editor, Brooklyn Lowery, as much as you welcomed Melanie. Godspeed, Melanie.
Wally's Wicked Good May 09, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Melanie, good luck to you! We've enjoyed getting to know you these past few years and appreciate the wonderful coverage you have provided to the Newton community!
Estey Silva May 09, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Thanks for all you've done to make Newton Patch a success, Melanie! I wish you all the best with your next adventure. Hope to see you around.
Melanie Graham (Editor) May 10, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Thanks so much, Estey! It was such a pleasure working with you. Best of luck with everything!
Melanie Graham (Editor) May 10, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Thank you so much! I'm sure I'll be stopping in to Wally's again soon.

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