Editorial: Our news editor extraordinaire takes her leave

Over the years, the Reporter has been quite fortunate in attracting a bumper crop of talented young journalists to work with us to tell the stories of Boston’s largest neighborhood. This week, in a bittersweet turn, we say fare-thee-well to one of the best we’ve hosted in our span from 1983 to present: Jennifer Smith, a talented and enterprising reporter who has literally made Dorchester her home.

After a four-year stint in the Reporter newsroom, Jenn will begin her law school classes next month. While her byline may appear in the Reporter again when she is not bogged down in the law library stacks, this week is her last on watch as news editor.

Each person who has worked here over the years has brought his and her unique set of skills and life experience to bear on the never-boring duty of covering a dynamic, complex city neighborhood like our own. It takes a special blend of reporting skills, inquisitiveness, imagination, and ingenuity to do it well. It’s a testament to Jenn’s talents that she routinely found new and exciting ways to cover Dot.

Power-brokers took notice. It was no accident that Smith’s notebook was the first to open for exclusive interviews with newly elected Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and DA Rachael Rollins in the days after their elections. It’s why Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s team sought Jenn and the Reporter out for a town meeting staged here in Dorchester in 2018.

But for every big-name scoop that we’ll recall with a smile or perhaps a smirk, there have been exponentially more routine civic planning meetings and huddles in City Hall hallways— all leading to the iron core news flow that keeps a neighborhood operation like this one viable, relevant, and essential. It’s a testament to Jenn’s time here that this tradition remains alive and well at the Reporter in 2019.

It also says something about our neighborhood that she intends to continue to call Dorchester home. We’re grateful to Jenn for her hard work and for making us look good.

– Bill Forry