MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Dominion Post Editor Geri Ferrara has announced her retirement.
David A. Raese, publisher and co-owner of the multimedia company, assumes the role of editor and publisher, effective immediately.
“I think it is time for me to spend more time with my family,” Ferrara said. “My three grandsons and daughters live in northern California and my son in New York. I would like to spend more time with them.”
Ferrara, 62, leaves the newspaper just three weeks shy of her 13th anniversary with the Morgantown company.
“This is probably not the first time or the last time that grandchildren and family has won out over a person’s profession, and I can’t be too sad to lose the best editor I have had while publisher at The Dominion Post. But it soothes the opening knowing that Geri will be embarking on a new career fulltime; that of being a grandmother,” Raese said.
“When I was looking for an editor 13 years ago, I was searching for someone who would run a newsroom in an efficient manner. Her experience from every nook and cranny of a newsroom and the glowing recommendations made it an easy choice, and I couldn’t have been more pleased how things turned out.”
During her tenure, Ferrara instituted First Amendment journalism initiatives, ramped up a spotlight on government coverage and expanded state coverage. In addition, she oversaw the creation and development of TheDPost.com, established social media accounts and developed a studio and video opportunities to create a multimedia news department.
“And while First Amendment journalism is the cornerstone of all credible newspapers, the age of digital media could not be and was not ignored. Under Geri’s leadership, The Dominion Post newsroom added a new, free gital website, The DPost.com, to complement the print edition and the paid electronic edition,” Raese said.
“This balancing act required training of the news crew on the latest digital equipment and practices that allowed The Dominion Post to break first with numerous news stories, minutes after they happened.”
Ferrara has served on the First Amendment committees for the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors. She also developed a First Amendment program to educate people on the importance of the press, and made many presentations as a guest speaker at schools and at civic organization meetings.
“The public’s right to know and the five freedoms outlined in the First Amendment are so vital to a democracy,” she said. “If there was ever a time when a credible press is of import, it is now.
“Today there are many media outlets afforded the privileges of the credible press, yet there are fewer true journalistic operations that defend the public’s right to know with integrity, and present information in a balanced, accurate, responsible and fair manner.”
“Holding officials’ ‘feet to the fire’ was a mantra of The Dominion Post during Geri’s tenure. Her passion for the First Amendment and the public ’s right to know fueled the direction of the newsroom, ” Raese said.
“Ronald Reagan’s famous quote, ‘Trust but verify’ and the saying ‘Fair but firm’ would be apt descriptions of the editorial posture The Dominion Post adopted during Geri’s tenure. But it is essential for the overall good that there is a public forum on issues for the common good and that was the goal and still will be for The Dominion Post,” he said.
“She put in the foundation so that we will be able to carry on and shine light on our community, whether it be good news or bad.
“We will miss her steady guidance of what we should do as a newspaper of record but we will strive to continue on that path.”
During her tenure at The Dominion Post, Ferrara developed the Goodwill City Program to create an enjoyable fan experience for visitors on WVU football days and to promote a positive image for the Morgantown area; oversaw the creation and execution of the Ambassadors for Progress program to acknowledge the good works of community members; and developed a successful drive to provide crutches, canes and walkers to amputees injured in the 2010 Haitian earthquake.
Tons of donated supplies were shipped to areas in devastated regions. The shipping arrangement was made in partnership with several local, national and international organizations, including Rotary International.
Ferrara has been a member and past president of the Morgantown North Rotary Club. She was also a member of the former Morgantown chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.
“I have enjoyed my time in Morgantown and will take many friendships with me, ” Ferrara said. “The highlight of my time here, however, has been working with Dave Raese.
“He genuinely cares for his community and for the newspaper company that his grandparents created so many years ago. The publisher’s chair is often a hot seat and he has operated this newspaper with personal integrity. It was a privilege to work with him.
“His grandparents would be proud.”