Home' Local Media Today : June 2007 Contents 2
Who is Ron Browning? I’m the editor of the
Noblesville Daily Times and Fishers Weekly in
beautiful Noblesville, Ind., which is just north of
Indianapolis. I’ve been here for almost a year,
after working at several other newspapers
throughout Indiana as a newsroom manager
and/or reporter. I’m a 36-year-old father of two. I
have a son, Zach, who is 3, and my daughter,
Emily is 18-months. I typically mention them first
when talking about myself, because I see being a
parent as my most important job.. I will debate
just about anyone on just about any issue, and I’ll
often play the role of devil’s advocate just to have
a good argument if no one is around who has an
opinion different than mine. Above all else, I’m a
world-class smart ass. I like to laugh and have
fun and I feel nothing is beyond reproach.
How did you get into the newspaper busi-
I wanted a job with long, odd hours and little pay.
I actually had gone to college to become a
sportscaster. David Letterman had just given a
boat load of money to Ball State University (his
alma mater and mine) to enhance their telecom-
munications department. So I went there since it
had state of the art facilities. Unfortunately, many
others had the same idea, so there was a waiting
list for most of the telecommunications classes,
so my five-and-a -half-year college plan was look-
ing like it would stretch into a seven-year plan.
My minor already was journalism, and I’d always
written for my school papers, so, I decided to
become a newspaper sports writer. My first job
out of school however was as a general assign-
ments reporter, which I found infinitely more inter-
esting than getting clichéd quotes from high
school coaches every day. The rest, as they say
What do you like most about the business?
I love being on the frontlines. I’ve always been
very involved in the community as it is. Working
for the community newspaper, you feel even
more plugged in. Producing a daily newspaper
allows you to feel like you are contributing some-
thing important to the community. You aren’t just
selling a product, you are being a community
watchdog and a community resource.
What I like least is that it is a thankless job. You
can work your tail off to look out for the best inter-
ests of the community, and too often people
either don’t appreciate it or they see you as doing
the community a disservice by shedding light on
an issue; you know, those who believe a problem
will go away if you just keep your head buried
When the well runs dry, how do you recharge
I try to get away from the paper, leave work at
work for a change. I’ll spend time playing with the
kids and not thinking about deadlines, story
counts or Web updates. I also get away once a
year for a camping trip with my buddies.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew when you started in this business?
It’s OK not to know everything. When you are a
young reporter, you have a tendency to act like
you know more than you do so sources and oth-
ers in the newsroom won’t look at you as a kid.
I’ve found you earn more respect if you are hon-
est and seek guidance rather than doing some-
thing wrong, or printing something that is not
completely accurate and having to go back and
fix it. Even as an editor and a seasoned reporter,
you come across things all the time that you’ve
never had to deal with. You are constantly learn-
ing in this business.
The only thing I know for sure about the busi-
ness of running a newsroom is.....
People won’t work hard for you if they don’t
respect you. That doesn’t mean people have to
like you. You can’t be everyone’s friend. But you
do have to show them you are committed, and
that every decision you make is for the good of
the paper. You have to show them you are willing
to work just as hard if not harder than they are, or
they won’t buy in to what you are trying to
Who/what is your major influence?
I like to think that just about everyone I’ve ever
encountered has influenced me. Whether it’s
someone I’ve interviewed, co-workers, my par-
ents or friends, I always try to draw from the posi-
tives I see in others and emulate them. As an edi-
tor, I try to incorporate every positive trait I’ve
seen in the editors I’ve worked for. I’ve tried to
learn all I could from them and carry those les-
sons with me wherever I’ve gone. Many of them
also had some quirks that made me want to kick
them in the neck. Those are the habits I try to
avoid in dealing with my staff, as I do not wish to
be kicked in the neck.
The world would be a vastly better place if
only people would.....
... realize the world does not revolve around
them. People are so self-centered that they fail to
see how their actions impact those around them.
Life is tough. It would be much easier if people
learned to work together, or at the very least
respect others and their feelings.
What three accomplishments are you most
My children. They are my reason for being here.
Graduating from college. I am the first person in
my family to do so.
Leaving a cushy job writing about the law for a
well-established niche publication to take on the
challenge of leading a newsroom at a fledgling,
3-year-old daily newspaper in a very competitive
No one is better than I am when it comes
Parallel parking. I’m amazing. I was a phenom
even as a teen, and my skills grew during many
years as a pizza delivery man.
I still can’t quite get the hang of.....
Math. I am a word person, not a number person.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living
or dead, who would it be? Why?
Thomas Jefferson. I was a double major (journal-
ism and history) when I finally graduated college,
and I find many of the founding fathers to be
interesting dichotomies. They were brilliant, yet
flawed individuals. I would love to see what
Jefferson thinks of America in the 21st Century.
If you couldn’t be a newspaperman, what
would you like to be doing?
I would like to write music, but I’d probably end
up being a lawyer.
What do you do for kicks?
I’m a huge sports fan. I love watching sports as
well as participating. I live and die with the
Indiana Pacers and the World Champion
Indianapolis Colts. I play fantasy sports, but it is
not an obsession like it is for some. I’m also a big
music fan with tastes that range from classic
rock, to country to punk and all points in between.
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“Even as an editor and a seasoned reporter, you come
across things all the time that you’ve never had to deal with.
You are constantly learning in this business.”
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