Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Roswell Daily Record publisher Barbara Beck and general manager SaraLei Fajardo have announced that Jeff Tucker has been named the new editor of the newspaper.
As editor, Tucker will be responsible for day-to-day management of the editorial department and the 126-year-old newspaper’s print and online content.
“I’m very pleased that Jeff has accepted the editor position,” Beck said. “Jeff has a lot of experience at community newspapers and leading newsrooms.”
Tucker joined the Roswell Daily Record in May 2014 as a general assignment reporter, principally covering local government, politics, crime and courts. He has since been the newspaper’s senior writer, night editor, managing editor and interim editor.
“He knows the community well and has built a lot of relationships in his time here in Roswell,” Fajardo said.
As interim editor, Tucker spearheaded several readership outreach efforts, such as regular pages for Spanish-language readers and a page devoted to Artesia. Tucker said he plans to continue covering local news and sports as much as possible while also managing the newsroom.
“Some people get bored sitting through governmental meetings, but I’ve always found the esoteric inner-workings of government fascinating,” Tucker said. “That’s how I cut my teeth in journalism, covering the meetings no one else was interested in staffing, looking for nuggets of news and interesting storylines for readers.”
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps as an air radio repairman in California, Tucker graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in December 1993, where he majored in communications, with an area of course concentration in political science. While in college, Tucker said his interest in public affairs grew into a congressional internship in Washington D.C. and a legislative internship for the Indiana House of Representatives. He ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1998.
“I thought I knew everything about politics, until I actually ran for something,” he said. “A U.S. Senate aide asked me shortly after my makeshift campaign if I would ever run again, and I told him, ‘Nah, I like the idea of running once and complaining about the process the rest of my life.'”
Tucker began his professional journalism career in 1997, freelance writing for his hometown newspaper in Michigan City, Indiana, after playing semi-pro baseball for seven years in the Chicago area. A product of public schools in his hometown which Tucker said prepared and educated him well, Tucker got his start in journalism covering sports for his high school newspaper. A member of the Roswell Tennis Association, Tucker said covering sports is a nice change of pace.
“It’s a whole different crowd and readership than a typical City Council meeting,” he said. “It keeps you versatile in your writing, and confident you can tackle any story.”
Tucker, 51, has been a full-time journalist at nine newspapers in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Montana and New Mexico, with extensive freelance work for several newspapers, including the Post-Tribune in Merrillville, Indiana, and the South Bend Tribune in South Bend, Indiana. He was also a six-month temporary newsman for The Associated Press in the Indianapolis bureau in 2000, writing print and broadcast news and sports stories, and a freelance correspondent for the AP in Montana in 2011-12.
Throughout his career, Tucker has received more than 20 individual journalism awards from the New Mexico, Montana, South Texas, West Texas, Texas and Hoosier press associations and The Associated Press. He was editor of the Record Star in Robstown, Texas, and the Herald-News in Wolf Point, Montana.
Tucker said he’s glad to be a part of Roswell’s family owned newspaper and he’s had enough of moving about the country.
“I’ve found that corporate-owned newspapers lack the long-term connections with their communities that family owned newspapers have,” he said. “And employees at family owned newspapers really do form into an extended family, which makes this job all the more rewarding.”