Staff Q&As: Meet online editor Joan Concilio

To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer posts with each journalist will run on Mondays. This morning, meet our online editor, Joan Concilio. You’ve likely seen her blog, Only in York County, where she discusses  everything from York County-isms to the great debate over what constitutes potpie.

Name: Joan Concilio
Lives in: West Manchester Township
Hometown: Dover Township
Position at the YDR: Online editor
Years with the YDR: 12
Graduated from: York College in 2002; Dover Area High School in 1999
With a degree in: Mathematics (bet you don’t find THAT in any other bios!)
Connect: Twitter; Facebook; search for me on Google+ as Joan Concilio Otto. Also check out Only in York County, my personal website at www.joanconcilio.com and my Pinterest.
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I’m married to Chris Otto, the YDR’s sports editor, and we have an 11-year-old daughter, Sarah. I have a terrible habit of defining myself by song lyrics. I got my one and only tattoo on a business trip to Colorado in 2010. I study martial arts at Dover Dragons Tae Kwon Do and hope to get my black belt when I’m 30.

Two guys straight out of Men In Black once came to the office to do a very official background check on me for a job I was considering. I have more part-time jobs than there are workdays in a week. I’ve got five cats, including two that weigh upwards of 24 pounds, one who only has three legs and one who has extra toes on his front feet. As I was writing this bio, one of my employees got a call from my fourth-grade teacher about a story we’d run; that’s one of the surreal things about living in one place your whole life.

1. What made you want to become a journalist? Well, I started at the YDR when I was 16 years old, intending to work here through college and then do something in my field (math). I didn’t stay because I loved journalism in the Woodward-and-Bernstein sense. I stayed because York County is home and the jobs we do here help make that home a better place for me and for everyone else who lives here.

2. How do you see journalism changing? I love how much technology skills are now valued, and I love that someone like me from a nontraditional background can succeed in this field. Those aren’t things that were always as common as they are now!

3. What do you like most about your job? The least? I love blogging, and I love when I can help readers out — whether that’s by publishing news, jogging memories of what used to be where in York County or just listening. I don’t know if there’s something I like “least,” but I know that it’s been hard for me, as I’ve moved into management, to spend more time planning and overseeing and less time interacting with readers and with news copy directly.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? SLEEPING. I’m still used to my former schedule as a nighttime copy editor, and I’ve never gotten used to getting up early!

5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? Why? I love writing my Ask Joan column, and I have gotten more comments on my answer about artillery fungus (which causes black spots on your siding) than on any other story I’ve ever written. Go figure.

6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: Diet Pepsi. A BIG Diet Pepsi.

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow? It’s not exactly “journalism,” but Corbett Barr’s Think Traffic blog (www.thinktraffic.net) is great for anyone who creates and markets content online. Corbett is awesome; I’m a total groupie.

8. What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? The last book you read? Last movie was Moneyball (loved it) and the last book was probably a romance novel. I don’t read much “serious” stuff outside of work.

9. What’s your favorite place in York County? Anywhere there’s water: Pinchot Park; driving south along the river from Wrightsville; the little bridge over Beaver Creek on Bull Road heading north toward Rossville.

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? Probably all of them at one point or another, since I didn’t come from a journalism background. I’m pretty sure I faked my way through an awful lot of conversations for many years. CQ –- meaning “correct as quoted” –- was a big one. I was like, “Seek you? What?” And learning to use points and picas as a measurement system was definitely weird at first.

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
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