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James Kevlin

Click here for Jim's Biography and Interview and Chat!

¨  How long have you been working in the newspaper business?
¨  What did you study to do in college?
¨  What is the hardest part of your work?
¨  How did you learn to type?  Do you use proper fingers?
¨  Do you write the newspaper or what do you do?
¨  Is your newspaper famous?
¨  What is "last refuge of the generalist"?
¨  Who is Mrs. Curbera?
¨  What was your favorite toy and book when you were a child?
¨  How often do you write?
¨  How old are your two sons?
¨  Have you ever been on a sailing ship like the American Pride?

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QUESTION:
How long have you been working in the newspaper business?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
29 years -- since October 1973.

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QUESTION:
What did you study to do in college?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
I majored in English, but took numerous courses in history, economics, political science, philosophy.

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QUESTION:
What is the hardest part of your work?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
There's a lot to do, every day, under deadline pressure -- but that's the fun of the job as well.  You need a thick skin, since you make mistakes before an audience of tens of thousands of people -- but you develop that.

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QUESTION:
How did you learn to type?  Do you use proper fingers?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
Many old-time newspaper people hunt and peck with two fingers.  I took typing in high school, so I use all fingers.

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QUESTION:
Do you write the newspaper or what do you do?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
I write two editorials a week, a weekly column, a monthly E-Letter and occasional stories if a topic interests me.  I review/edit other peoples' stories, handle hiring, supervision, decide what we're going to cover and how, deploy staff of 35 +/- (with help of managing editor, news editor, sports editor, photo editor, feature editor).  Sometimes I feel like I'm the complaint department:  If someone is unhappy with something, they call the editor.

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QUESTION:
Is your newspaper famous?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
The Pottsville REPUBLICAN won the Pulitzer prize in 1979, and also pioneered print/New Media combinations, so we're well known in the newspaper business.  And, of course, we're "famous" in Schuylkill County, Pa.

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QUESTION:
What is "last refuge of the generalist"?  What did you mean?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
Whereas we live in an era of specialization, in newspaper work it's beneficial to know as much as you can on as many subjects as you can.  And, whatever your interest -- the arts, math, science, history, baseball-card collecting, you name it -- you'll find an outlet -- an opportunity to write about it -- in newspaper work.

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QUESTION:
Who is Mrs. Curbera?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
A favorite teacher of mine at the American School of Madrid who was always thinking of ways to expand her students' horizons.  In the '60s, for instance, she initiated a class in the African-American in American literature, which was pretty forward-looking at the time, including books that would have been considered fairly controversial back then -- "The Confessions of Nat Turner" among them.

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QUESTION:
What was your favorite toy and book when you were a child?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
Wow, that's going back.  Chemistry sets were fun, full of all sorts of stuff that are probably banned today; for instance, I remember experimenting with mercury.  I liked the freedom a bike provided.  Also, I collected butterflies, which no one seems to do these days.

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QUESTION:
How often do you write?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
Just about every day.

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QUESTION:
How old are your two sons?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
My older son, John, is 22 and graduated two weeks ago from Ithaca College.  He majored in computer science, but became interested in politics and right now is looking to working on a campaign.

My younger boy, Joe, is 8, and just finishing third-grade at John S. Clarke Elementary Center in Pottsville.  He's a good student, plays soccer, baseball, basketball and roller hockey (and is about to take up golf).  He is also an avid scout, a Webelo.

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QUESTION:
Have you ever been on a sailing ship like the
American Pride?

ANSWER from James Kevlin on 31 May 2002:
In a cruise ship, yes, but never one like the American Pride:  It looks very neat.

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Last Updated:
17 June 2002
 

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