After eight years covering San Diego business at several publications – The Daily Transcript, The T Sector, Union-Tribune – I made the leap from journalism to public relations. As journalists say, I went to the Dark Side.

Anyone who’s been reading the stories about the Copley Press’s reactions to the sea change in the newspaper industry would think I had pretty good timing, but it didn’t seem that way at first; I had just returned from my first-day welcome lunch with my new colleagues at the S.D. Regional Chamber of Commerce when the news came that the Union-Tribune had won the Pulitzer. I missed my big chance to have champagne in the newsroom.

Darn it all.

Today, of course, I’m glad not to be in the atmosphere of anxiety at the paper as people wait for the ax to drop – which may or may not happen, but these are reporters we’re talking about, so naturally they’re expecting the worst.

But much more than that, I love this side of the fence. It’s not so dark over here, it turns out. After being an observer of San Diego’s business community for so long, it’s cool to be able to participate and to use what I’ve learned about different companies to help reporters and Chamber members.

I’m enjoying watching things play out from a totally different perspective, too. It’s fascinating how much a change of hats can change your mind. That’s going to be my theme for the day, unless you have a better idea. Anyone have questions about the local media, certain publications, editors, reporters? Write to me at rlaing@sdchamber.org. I’ll try to get answers, offer opinions, commiserate, argue.

Meanwhile, I’ll be spouting off my take on recent news.

RACHEL LAING

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