Back to work

From 1978 to 2001, I worked for the San Jose Mercury News as an op-ed columnist and editorial writer. I left to write my charter school book, Our School. Tomorrow I’m going back to the Merc as a temporary, emergency, less-than-full-time editorial writer. I’ll work till the November election, with time off for some quick trips to Chicago, LA and Denver which already were on the schedule. If they’re still desperate, I may work through November. (The editorial pages staff was down to half its peak level and then two people quit in the same week.) I think it will be fun to see the old gang, that is, the fraction of the old gang who didn’t take the two buy-outs since I left.

Writing editorials will be my first priority but I may get a column in at some point. Back in the day, when I had a regular column, I prided myself on being a reliable utility infielder willing to help the team with editorials, copy editing or proofreading as needed. I hope I’ve still got it. The one thing I miss since I started freelancing — aside from the paycheck direct deposited to my account every Thursday — is the teamwork.

I will try to keep up the blog, but I’m going to try not to blog about every single education thing that happens. I hope I can lure some Mercury News readers to read the blog and, of course, to buy the book.

About Joanne


  1. Maybe I’ll start reading the Murky again. I just got tired of being lied to though.

  2. >>The one thing I miss about freelancing — aside from the paycheck direct deposited to my account every Thursday — is the teamwork.

    I assume you mean the reverse – the thing you miss about staff jobs since you started freelancing.

  3. Right. I just fixed that.

  4. greeneyeshade says:

    I used to look for your column on the KNI wire. Knock ’em dead!

  5. Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!
    I look forward to seeing your editorials. I miss them!!!

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Perhaps this will convince the PA Daily to take you on. Tell us which days you editorialize so I can steal a copy, or else carry ithem here, too. The Murky Turkey and the Chron will see no more of my money until they come out for nuclear power. I consider their past anti-nuke policy to have been one of the reasons for the ascendency of Luddism as the State Religion.

  7. Robert Wright says:

    This morning I called the Merc and canceled my subscription. A 22 year subscription.

    No, it’s not because Ms. Jacobs returned. That’s just a coincidence.

    Then why? Because I read it online.

    The last few months I didn’t open a paper once. I just have been collecting them and tossing them in the recycle bin week after week.

    All this bending over, picking up and tossing just got old.

    Like me.