As I write my Outback Observation this week, I realize my title might be a little mis-leading. 

No I’m not leaving, but I’ve “taken a step back” and really tried to enjoy the moment as much as I can. 

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ve been flying solo for nearly two months and to say it’s been challenging has been an understatement. I probably have seemed cranky at times and trust me, it’s been unintentional. As I’ve been trying to attend every possible event, fill enough copy for the paper and write enough copy for our special edition that we have coming up including our second largest special edition, “Lake County Fair and Round-Up”. I really appreciate Marie Lee, Sharon Liddycoat and Toni Bailey for submitting articles for that edition, as many days I feel like I’ve aged about 20 years. 

I spoke via email a few times this summer with Paisley school Supt./Prin. Paul Hauder and he paid me a very nice compliment, calling me an “Honorary Bronco” and really appreciating me for my coverage. The Lake County Commissioners voiced their support for me at the end of their meeting last week, appreciating my professionalism and always having a smile on my face. The Lakeview Town Council has paid me similar compliments and my desk is full of letters and cards I have received over the years of people appreciating my work. It’s nice to take a step back every once in a while and reference those cards whenever the going gets tough. 

While I’m proud to say that I’ve ditched that “deer in headlights” look that I had when I first started, I’m my own worst enemy. Meaning that when I mess something up or get something wrong in the paper, I sometimes take it personally (which I know you can’t do in this business) and it frustrates me to no end, as I’ve always considered myself a perfectionist. 

We as the media always get a bad name for one reason or another. I get it, we’re the source and we’re the front line delivering pieces timely and accurate. Sometimes, we make mistakes. We’re human just like everybody else. But some of the things the media gets hounded for, baffles me.

I compare some of the scrutiny we face, to some of the public figures in sports. Look at baseball and the steroid and performance enhancing drugs “era” that the sport is currently in. Is it fair to outcast an entire organization based on the action of a select group of people? Media’s no different. We do the best we can with what we have and it’s unfair to judge an entire organization, based off the actions of a select group of people. There’s always things we can do better or do differently, we’re not perfect nor am I saying that we are. 

I’ve always considered myself to have a different “style” when it comes to interviewing people and how I go about my business. People hear the word “interview” and they can get tense, because much like the word “test or exam” it’s very intimidating. 

I have many points throughout this Observation, but my main one is this: Your compliments don’t go un-noticed trust me. Every person I’ve come across during my time here has helped me improve in some form or fashion and I appreciate each of you for reading my articles, critiquing me and showing a local business its support. 

Michael Acosta 

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