I am Ted Schnell and I’d like to introduce myself as the new local editor for St. Charles Patch.
This marks another exciting transition for me in a career that has spanned nearly 29 years in journalism, of which the last nearly five years has been as a digital editor and reporter, including about a year as a guest editor for a number of Patch sites in Chicago’s northwest, west and some of the southwest suburbs.
I like to think the past five years have set the foundations for my start at Patch.
My interest long has been and continues to be community news. While the news industry is in the midst of some painful contortions that began with the advent of the Internet some 15 years ago, I consider it an exciting time as news companies transition from the printed page to the digital one and its myriad capabilities for providing text, images, video and interactive platforms to serve their communities.
Patch is on the cutting edge of that change. Over the past 19 months, I have said many times that Patch is a courageous experiment to return relevant, timely community journalism to you, the readers.
I hope you will join me in catching that excitement. My goal is to serve this city, not only as a provider of useful information and great journalism, but as someone who wants to get to know you, the readers, so that I may grow to serve you better. I trust you to help me do that, whether by email, a Facebook or Twitter post, or meeting me directly around town.
A little about myself: I am an Elgin native, married and a father of five — three boys ages 17, 20 and 25, and two girls ages 9 and 11. I love my family, am a devout Christian, enjoy fishing, reading, coffee and getting to know people, among diverse other interests. I love puns — good and bad — and can talk the ears off a mule but am here to listen to you.
I spent my first 11 years in journalism in Wyoming as a reporter/photographer, then as an editor. My first news job was in Rawlins, Wyo., where I met my future wife. We wed in the Snowy Range mountains and our first son was born more than two years later in Rawlins. I have many fond memories of our time there.
I returned to Elgin with my family in 1994 to work for The Courier-News. In 2007, I transitioned to the Web desk of that paper’s corporate parent, where I remained until I was laid off in December 2010. Two weeks later, I started a blog (Laid off at 51: Seeking joy in change), and a couple of weeks after that, I went to work as a reporter for an Elgin news website modeled after Patch. Later, I took on more work as a guest editor for Patch.
Please help me get to know you and this wonderful river community so that I may serve you to the best of my ability.