Going Golden  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   November 2001

Going Golden   

Des Moines Register Editor Dennis Ryerson leaves his native Iowa to become editorial page editor at the San Jose Mercury News.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     


California lures native Iowan Dennis Ryerson from his perch as editor of the Des Moines Register to editorial page editor at the San Jose Mercury News. When he got a call from Merc Publisher Joe Natoli, Ryerson says, "I really wasn't looking to make a move. I was happy. It was a great job in Des Moines." But the Bay Area "was always one of the top five places that I wanted to live," and the chance to follow the recently retired Rob Elder was too good to pass up. Ryerson, 53, held similar positions at Cleveland's Plain Dealer and at the Columbian in Vancouver, Washington, and as editor oversaw the Register's editorial pages. He believes editorial pages should present a wide array of options and "push ahead to make things happen" on issues that readers are thinking about. "One thing we don't want to do," he says, "is just bore our readers [with] lengthy discussions of public policy."

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