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Local Column

Heimerman: The art of asking questions

I thought I was so smart when I was a kid. To be fair to myself, I wasn’t dumb. Just ignorant.

Boy, it feels good to admit that.

A certain amount of that ignorance has trickled into adulthood. I was a pretty good sports writer and a pretty good sports editor, I think.

Then I had kids, and the landscape shifted.

I wanted to be ready with intelligent answers for all the questions I was finally ready to admit I didn’t have a clue about. When they asked specific questions about how the world works, why certain things are the way they are, I didn’t want to have to tell them to ask their mother. (This still does happen, however, and always will.)

Pride gets in the way a lot of the time. It can actually be a journalist’s undoing. If you’re too proud to admit you don’t know things you perhaps should, you likely won’t ever break any ground.

In November 2013, three months and change after my twins were born, I made the move from sports to news, and I got real honest with myself and others real fast.

It wasn’t easy. I’d gotten fat and happy having almost all the answers about the subjects I covered.

It turns out that it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made, and four years and change later, it’s humbling to have been named the 16th editor of this stalwart publication. This publication that’s uncovered scandals, celebrated successes and been the point source of information when you’ve needed it – whether you knew it or not.

Now that I’m editor, I have a lot more questions. The good news is my boss, Eric Olson, will be there to answer many of them as I learn the intricacies of this role I’ve never had to wonder about before.

I have a lot of questions for you, too.

I’m still learning a lot about you, DeKalb County – how you work, how you play, how you remember and how you heal.

It’s also a two-way street. I need you to ask me your burning questions, to bring up issues you feel aren’t being explored, let alone scrutinized.

Five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined being so prepared to intelligently tell your stories and to cover the issues that matter to you.

Thanks for embracing me and my family. And thanks in advance for telling me which questions you’d like asked.

• Christopher Heimerman is the editor of the Daily Chronicle. Reach him at 815-756-4841, ext. 2221, or email

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