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Ordinary guy Jim Flynn leads no ordinary life as Editor of Hamden Chronicle
Jim Flynn looks like a normal guy. He’s laid-back and college-casual in a charcoal sweater, khakis, and glasses atop his nose. Maybe he’s going to the library to do research for his history paper. Or maybe he’s going to buy some beer for a frat party? None of the above.
That’s because Flynn is the Editor of The Hamden Chronicle, and he’s been out of college since `98. Don’t be deceived by his young looks. “I get to do things that a normal guy wouldn’t,” boasts Flynn of his job.
Born in New Haven, Flynn was raised in Wallingford, Conn., and still resides there today. He attended Sheehan High School, then went on to Eastern Connecticut State University. Graduating with a degree in English and a minor in communications, Flynn originally planned on going into book publishing.
“I didn’t like it because I couldn’t meet people,” says Flynn.
After no success in book publishing, Flynn tried a job with a small Naugatuck-based, daily newspaper.
“It was a good start,” recalls Flynn. “I learned what kind of questions to ask, and it taught me to write on a deadline.”
After working at the daily for over a year, which Flynn recommends doing if you want to break into the newspaper business, he moved on to Elm City’s newspaper. On a constant climb up the ladder, Flynn finally landed his most recent job with The Hamden Chronicle, as Editor.
“Mickey uses the term editor,” says Flynn, referring to an old friend. “Being an editor is just part of my job. All the writing, editing the copies, obits, birthdays, school menus, whatever’s in the paper — I look over.”
Hamden, Conn. seems a far cry from the hustle and bustle one would get from a big city newspaper, say, The Daily News or Newsday. Flynn disagrees.
“Hamden’s a great community; where else would you find a school built on a toxic waste dump?” laughs Flynn, of the recent Hamden Middle School story. “Hamden stories kind of just fall into your lap.”
Is it really that easy? In a busy week, Flynn can put in about 70 hours, depending upon what’s going on. His weekly schedule consists of diligent writing, editing, putting up web site stories, checking e-mail, visiting Town Hall for the latest news, and going through police records.
“Then on Friday, I take it easy. Of course, I have to get ready for the next day, though,” says Flynn.
An editor’s work is never done. All that pressure might send most of us running for the hills, in search for an easier job, but Flynn has an obvious reason for what he does. Though he admits that dealing with certain phone calls can be a drag (“Where is my newspaper?’ “Why am I not in the paper?”), he loves feedback from the public.
“The fact that people read my paper to find out what’s going on, seeing my name in print; that’s what I love about it,” says Flynn. “People will come up to me and say they read my paper every week.”
Though Flynn’s job seems to be a dream to him, he says he doesn’t plan on remaining at The Chronicle for long.
“It’s more of a stepping stone. I like being an editor, but I like being a reporter more,” explains Flynn