Ever wonder what it’s like to work behind the desk at a real newspaper? Take a glance into the life of former Castleton student Ken Tyler. The 28-year-old former English major now works under Mary Serkalow, the news editor for The Post-Star in Glens Falls, NY, and is copy editor and third in charge overall.
“I met Ken when he came in to interview for the copy editor position last April,” Serkalow explained. “I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is way too serious.’ So not the case today.”
After leaving Castleton after two years, Tyler found a job that puts his passion and skills to good use, helping build a paper each day section by section.
“Whether it’s the front or the local section, or arts life, I get the stories, photos and whatever else is going in the section, organize it and place them where I think they should go,” Tyler explains. “Just like we did in class . only in an eight-hour shift each copy editor does around eight pages.”
One of his former professors couldn’t be happier with his life after Castleton.
“What’s neat about Ken . he took the [newspaper] design class by Rhonda Triller. He got really inspired, and I think he found his niche,” Professor Dave Blow commented. “He went out, bought a Mac, and learned how to design.”
Blow was a big inspiration for Tyler. In fact, the communication professor was the one that Tyler benefited from the most.
“[Dave] has so much passion for the field it’s impossible to not be infected by his presence,” Tyler described. “Plus, he has high expectations for all of his students and that makes you work harder – so not to disappoint him.”
Blow, who also has worked for The Post-Star, praised Tyler.
“[He’s] intellectual, driven . but maybe conflicted a bit as a student because he didn’t know what he wanted to do. He’s a great writer, but he didn’t like the idea of dealing with death as a reporter.”
It’s safe to say that Tyler won’t have to work with things like that in his position. And the strange thing is that what he likes most about his job has nothing to do with copy editing – but with informing readers about world and national issues.
“I fill a void here as a wire editor . basically I have more of an interest in world news and politics than anyone I work with and therefore become the voice of ‘what is the most important news of the day,'” Tyler said. “Each day I go into the page-one meeting (meeting that decides what is going on the front page) and fight to get national stories on the front page. The local editors fight for their stories and I fight for outside of our area stories. It can be a real battle sometimes and gives the true news junkie a rush.”
So, what is Tyler like around the office?
Serkalow, another former student of Blow’s, describes him as “the copy desk clown.”
“Entertaining and loud, but always fun,” the news editor described.
His favorite newspaper to read is The New York Times and his favorite news site is the Drudge Retort at Drudge.com. His hobbies outside the office include Web design, photo manipulation and he said he always has cable news on in background, CNN specifically.
Tyler also loves to snowboard, and having bought a house recently has become obsessed with do-it-yourself projects.
“My wife fears Saturdays,” he adds humorously.
He was married last summer to Granville resident Sarah Winchell.
Overall, Tyler has come a long way already since leaving Castleton. He’s gained much appreciation from those he’s worked with, and continues to do so.
“He’s a good guy,” Serkalow commented. “In less than a year here [at The Post-Star], he has made a strong presence on the copy desk.”
Tyler’s skills and attitude made a good lasting impression on Blow as well.
“I consider him a friend,” the professor said, adding that the two went skiing together this winter. “He took one design class, got inspired, took it to the next level and turned it into a job.