By Sarah Kinney
Leah Lamson graduated from Simmons in 1976 with a degree in Communications and Public Relations. After graduation, she went on from being a summer playground leader to her current position as editor of the Telegram and Gazette in Worchester, MA.
“I started writing my freshman year and loved it so much I switched majors,” said Lamson. “I was intending to major in special education.”
Lamson wrote for the Simmons student newspaper, formerly called Janus.
“Writing for Janus opened my eyes to what a great career journalism would be. I always enjoyed writing, but through my assignments for the newspaper, I discovered I could learn a lot too,” she said.
Lamson spends her day running news meetings in the morning and evening, planning, dealing with administrative duties, and talking with people in and out of the newsroom.
Lamson meets with the assignment editors in the news meetings to go over story ideas.
“There is never a shortage if you always have your eyes and ears open and maintain your sense of curiosity,” Lamson said.
She enjoys that her days are never the same and that she is constantly learning.
“Journalism is a lifelong learning experience,” she explained. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new.”
She hopes to be remembered as a fair editor.
“Whether it is a reader who is upset about a story or a reporter who wants to argue about a column, I want people to feel that they have gotten a fair hearing, that I am listening to them with an open mind, and I don’t prejudge them,” Lamson explained.
Though fictitious, Lamson looked to Mrs. Margaret Pynchon of the Lou Grant TV series as a role model. Pynchon was publisher of the Los Angelos Tribune on the show; she was modeled after real-life publishers Kay Graham of the Washington Post, Buff Chandler of the LA Times, and Dorothy Schiff of the New York Post.
While Lamson was a Simmons student, she said she learned most by being present, not being afraid to speak up, and by being involved in thoughtful discussions.
“I also learned a lot from my journalism professors and by doing internships, one of which was right here at the Telegram & Gazette,” said Lamson.
Lamson advises current students to follow their passions, trust their instincts, and to never lose their sense of humor.