My first newsletter job was with Inside Washington Publishers as an associate editor of its newly launched “Water Policy Report,” in which the primary focus was on the Clean Water Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By the time I was named managing editor, I had helped expand the focus to other regulatory agencies with oversight of the nation’s waters, as well as on other regulations (Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Farm Bill, etc.) that directly or indirectly impacted water quality.
While most of my stories concerned Congressional efforts to draft and pass water laws, as well as EPA efforts to implement the laws by drafting policy, I especially enjoyed covering the judicial interpretation of water laws. The above story represents one of three U.S. Supreme Court cases I had the pleasure of covering.
As public affairs and communications manager for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (formerly AMSA), I was responsible for all written communications, including the above monthly newsletter. Compared to the content of “Water Policy Report,” the “Clean Water News” was fluff. However, it did serve to vastly improve my layout skills. The position also helped me hone other editorial skills such as the drafting of press releases, reports, and outreach materials, and boosted my desktop publishing skills.
This quarterly law digest was perhaps the most challenging editorial work I did while with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (formerly AMSA). Fortunately, I had been well educated in environmental law during my editorial tenure at Inside Washington Publishers.
OK, so this isn’t from a “newsletter,” but it is a precursor in that it is a writing sample from my three and a half years as a cub reporter down in Carolina. I saved this particular clipping in part because I was so surprised that I would ever write such a story in the waning years of the 20th Century. I wasn’t able to cover the actual march, but it turned out to be a non-event due to NAACP and similar organizations’ policy at the time to just ignore these Klan-Shows. Only about 12 Klansmen turned out for the march, who were observed by about 120 state and local cops, but no counter-demonstrators. Still, would have been interesting to witness.