He’ll Bee There  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   October 2001

He’ll Bee There   

David Holwerk, one-time editorial page editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, gives up his job as editor of Duluth, Minnesota’s News Tribune to return to leading the editorial page, this time at the Sacramento Bee.

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


David Holwerk, one-time editorial page editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, gives up his job as editor of Duluth, Minnesota's News Tribune to return to leading the editorial page, this time at the Sacramento Bee. After starting the interview with AJR by quoting California's own Merle Haggard to describe his condition after a three-hour meeting ("My mind ain't nothin' but a total blank/I think I'll just stay here and drank"), Holwerk gets serious. "If you were designing an editorial page job to take advantage of what I know how to do," he says, "this would be pretty close to it." Holwerk, 54, gained his chops writing 700 editorials in nine months while freelancing for the then Lexington Herald in the 1970s. After three years as a political writer and state capital bureau chief, he became editor of the Herald-Leader's editorial page in 1983. "A lot of what we did was writing about state government and state politics," Holwerk says. Known for his emphasis on heavily reported editorials, Holwerk says he plans to make the Bee's editorial page "must-reading for anybody who wants to know what's going in on California government and politics." To do that, Holwerk says, "you have to write closer to the news than most editorial pages do. You have to do original reporting, take a lot of initiative...[and] value initiative and getting it first and getting in the paper on time as much as you value thoughtfulness and other traditional values."

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