Springfield News-Leader reporter Eric Eckert covers the visit of President George W. Bush. (Christina Dicken)

Newspaper Reporter and Copy Editor

From 1999 to 2004, I was privileged to work in the newspaper industry. I started out working the 3 p.m. to midnight shift on the four-person copy desk of the Ottumwa Courier in Ottumwa, Iowa. I designed newspaper pages on QuarkXPress and survived Y2K.

I then moved back to my home of St. Louis, Missouri and started a job with the Suburban Journals, where I served as a police/crime reporter. In October of 2000, I covered a national story — the plane crash deaths of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, his son and his aide. This story helped me move to my next, most substantial position as a reporter with The Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Missouri. Below are a selection of stories representing my time at that paper.