I just wanted to take a moment to thank TC Daily Planet’s editor, Mary Turck, for all she’s done for me and for the Planet. Mary’s last day is on Tuesday, July 15th and I’ve been preparing myself mentally and emotionally for her departure. My mentor, editor, collaborator and friend, I owe so much to her for her guidance and support.
As someone who had zero training in journalism before I started contributing to TCDP in 2008, I had a lot to learn. Over the years I’ve gotten a lot of help from the staff and my fellow writers at the organization- Jay Gabler, Lisa Peterson de la Cueva and Ann Alquist, to name a few- but Mary has been the person that has encouraged me to take on the most challenging stories, has helped me wade through the wonkiest issues, has helped me find my voice as a writer and been my ally and defender when the waters got rough.
With her strong sense of justice and her keen eye for bullshit, she has had no fear as an editor. Her background in law has been a handy asset in the trickiest of stories, but most of all she is always the quickest to tell when something just doesn’t seem right.
She’s also patient as she guides new writers through the process, helping people at whatever stage they are at write the best story they can write. From the early days of when I attended weekly writers groups to more recently when I’ve been a part of TC Daily Planet’s Education writers group, she’s taken the time to help me grow as a writer even as she’s asked me to strive further and go deeper with each story. I always say yes, because I know that however hard I’m working, she’s working harder than all of us. Sometimes I wonder if she ever sleeps.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Mary Turck will be up to next. For readers of her News Day blog, you’ll see she’s had some excellent writing there lately, and I’m anxious to see her work now that she’ll have more time to devote to writing.
For me, I feel like I’m losing my anchor a little bit. Even though I now write for a number of different publications, it felt safe to know that she was always there. I know that might sound a bit silly, and of course we have a new editor now at TC Daily Planet that I’m very much looking forward to working with- Kristoffer Tigue- but for me, Mary will always be the person that helped me to become a journalist, and for that I will always be grateful.